Vice President Joe Biden is combining his traditional gaffe-making with some tentative criticism of President Barack Obama’s economy, as he embarks on his effort to win the Democrats’ 2016 nomination.
“In a macroeconomic sense, the economy is roaring, everything is growing great [but] the truth of the matter is, a lot of folks are hurting. A lot of middle class folks are in a stagnant position,” he told a meeting of Democrats in Los Angeles, Calif.
HIs gaffe wasn’t a diplomatic error or a accidental insult, but more of a fake humble-brag. (RELATED: Josh Earnest Defends Biden In Wake Of Gaffes)
“My [Senate] colleagues would tell you, I’m referred to in Washington and nationally as ‘Middle Class Joe,’” he told the Democrats, who included the Italian-American mayor of L.A., Gil Garcetti.
“In Washington, that is not meant as compliment,” he insisted, as if people actually do call him “Middle Class Joe.”
“It means that you’re not sophisticated,” said the Vice President.
The faked self-compliment was one element of his speech, which described him as a champion of the middle class. (RELATED: What It Cost A Small County To Provide Protection For A Joe Biden Trip)
“In the last 15 years, the middle-class has been clobbered,” he said, without explicitly blaming either President George W. Bush or Obama.
“Just in the last 10 years, productivity in America has gone up… 36 percent, the GDP has increased 20 percent,” but the mandated average minimum wage has gone up 14 cents, he complained.
“No one in America should be working 40 hours a week and living below the poverty level,” Biden said in a city where massive immigration has sharply increase the labor supply and lowered wages for working-class and middle-class Californians.
Biden also worked a mini-gaffe into his list of supposed remedies.
“We know there are two things we should be doing,” he said. “We know we have to do two things… we have to invest in infrastructure, we have to invest in jobs, and retraining people, and, and, and, its all right there,” he said.
The top Democrats in the room joined Biden in bashing Obama’s government-focused economy, and demanding more government fixes.
Rep. Xavier Becerra told him that “here in Lincoln Heights, [the average wage] is about $18,000… we believe that everyone should be entitled to a living wage.”
“Too many people are on MediCal… too many people can’t live the American dream of working hard, keeping a job and supporting their families,” said Garcetti, who is championing an increase in L.A.’s minimum wage to $13.25.
Since late 2012, Obama, Biden and most Democrats have pushed, prodded and pressured the GOP to pass an immigration bill that would sharply increase the labor supply and stall wages. (RELATED: No One In Los Angeles Appears To Know Who Joe Biden Is)