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Joe Biden blamed former President Barack Obama on Wednesday for underselling the administration’s 2009 stimulus spending bill.
During the House Democratic Caucus Virtual Issues Conference on Wednesday night, Biden said Obama was too “modest” and did the administration a disservice by refusing to talk about how great their stimulus bill was at the time.
“The economists told us we literally saved America from a depression,” Biden said.
At the time, Obama put Biden in charge of supposedly “preventing waste” in the massive $787 billion spending program.
“To you, he’s Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the sheriff,” Obama said at the time.
But when talking about it on Wednesday night, Biden tossed Obama under the bus and blamed the former president for undercutting his attempt to promote the success of the stimulus program.
“We didn’t adequately explain what we had done,” Biden said. “Barack was so modest, he didn’t want to take, as he said, a ‘victory lap.’”
Biden continued criticizing Obama during his remarks, warning Democrats not to make the same mistake with his newly proposed $1.9 trillion spending package.
“I kept saying, ‘Tell people what we did,’” Biden recalled. “He said, ‘We don’t have time. I’m not going to take a victory lap.’ And we paid a price for it, ironically, for that humility.”
Biden said his massive spending package was overwhelmingly popular with Americans.
“We never had anything this urgent and this ambitious that was so widely embraced,” he said.
He predicted a long future of political success for the party if the spending package was passed and promoted by Democrats.
“I know parts of this — and everything else we seek to do — are not easy, but people are going to remember how we showed up in this moment, how we listened to them — to them — not special interests; to them — and how we took action,” he said.
The White House raised eyebrows on Wednesday when it suddenly cut the feed of a virtual event after Joe Biden attempted to answer questions.
Accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Caucus, Biden addressed lawmakers on the topics of COVID relief and the ongoing vaccine rollout.
He closed his remarks by calling on Democrats to help “restore faith” in government.
After the event was over, Biden told Pelosi he was “happy to take questions” – but the White House cut the feed.
“I’m happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do…” Biden said off-script.
Biden’s White House handlers quickly intervened and cut the feed.
Before the feed cut off, Biden had appealed to the Democrats to stay “unified” to ensure the passage of the America Rescue Plan.
He said that the $1.9 trillion relief package currently being haggled over in the Senate, “won’t just make a difference in our fight against COVID-19 and our efforts to rebuild the economy—it will also show the American people we’re capable of coming together for what matters most to them.”