Vice President Joe Biden criticized his own party for allowing “elitism” to “creep in” to their politics.
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times Thursday, Biden referenced an adage his dad would say.
“He said, ‘I don’t expect the government to solve my problems. But I expect them to understand it,” Biden recalled.
The vice president went on to say, “I believe that we were not letting an awful lot of people — high school-educated, mostly Caucasian, but also people of color — know that we understood their problems.”
He added that there’s “a bit of elitism that’s crept in” to Democratic thinking, and is concerned that Democrats are setting up what he sees as the false impression that progressive values are inconsistent with working-class values.
“What are the arguments we’re hearing? ‘Well, we’ve got to be more progressive.’ I’m not saying we should be less progressive,” he said, adding that he would “stack my progressive credentials against anyone” in the party.
“We should be proud of where the hell we are, and not yield an inch. But,” he added, “in the meantime, you can’t eat equality. You know?”
Biden pointed to a an issue Democrats were criticized for not taking seriously enough during the presidential election — ignoring blue collar economic woes in favor of identity politics. However, he took issue with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign rhetoric.
“I like Bernie,” Biden said, noting he agrees with the Vermont senator in many areas. “But I don’t think 500 billionaires caused all our problems.”