Bloomberg News

Biden Focuses White House’s Criticism on Romney in Iowa Op-Ed

December 30, 2011

(See ELECT for more news on the 2012 presidential campaign.)

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Vice President Joe Biden focused the White House’s criticism of Republican presidential candidates onto Mitt Romney, accusing him of wanting to “double down on the policies that caused the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression.”

“Romney appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed, while the majority of Americans are left to tread water or fall behind,” Biden wrote in an opinion essay published today in the Des Moines Register, the biggest newspaper in Iowa, where the caucuses that kick off the Republican presidential nominating contest will be held Jan 3. “Americans cannot afford a return to policies that rewarded the recklessness of a few while millions of small businesses and workers were left to clean up the mess.”

Leading in most national polls for the Republican nomination, Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich are alternating attacks against each other with critiques of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy. Romney has said Obama will create a society based on entitlements, not private enterprise.

Vice President’s Role

Biden responded to that accusation today, assuming the traditional vice presidential role of attacking the other party and sharpening the Obama team’s criticism of the former Massachusetts governor.

“Romney also misleadingly suggests that the president and I are creating an ‘Entitlement Society,’ whereby government provides everything for its people without regard to merit, as opposed to what he calls an ‘Opportunity Society,’ where everything is merit-based and every man is left to fend for himself,” Biden wrote. “The only entitlement we believe in is an America where if you work hard, you can get ahead.”

Heading into the holiday weekend, Romney is wrapping up a four-day bus tour in New Hampshire, with plans to greet voters in pizzerias, Mexican restaurants, a toy store and diners.

Gingrich is seeking to reduce expectations that he will win the Iowa caucuses as his momentum stalls in national polls.

--With assistance from Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Lisa Lerer in Washington. Editors: Leslie Hoffecker, Bob Drummond

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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