Barack Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, spent Thursday in Ohio, the all-important swing state. First, he visited the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, then he spoke with union members in Akron. After that speech, CBS News anchor Katie Couric rode with him on the bus from Akron to Youngstown and asked what three things an Obama administration would do to calm the panicky financial markets. What follows is the transcript of that clip of the interview.
Joe Biden: If you're president right this minute, one, explain to the American people what's happened, why we're in this trouble. They don't know. The president hasn't said anything, to the best of my knowledge. People got to know what is it, why are you doing what you - how did this get here and what are you going to do about it?
Secondly, immediately implement a transparency that says that every one of those companies were given those outfits that were given help to bail out, the solidify the markets say, `And, by the way, here's the deal, we get to look at your books. Don't tell me we're going to lend you the money and me not know exactly, exactly what you own and what you have.'
And the third thing I would do is demonstrate to the American people that you're really going to begin to invest. Stop the things that cause the problem, these profligate tax cuts that are raising the deficit, causing us to borrow money from China, to pay for oil from Saudi Arabia. Go out there and tell them you're immediately going to do something about the housing crisis.
Katie Couric: You talk about tax cuts, and there's been quite a brouhaha about your comment that paying higher taxes for those making $250,000 a year and over is the patriotic thing to do. Your vice presidential rival, Sarah Palin, Governor Palin said, "To the rest of America, that's not patriotism. Raising taxes is about killing jobs and hurting small businesses and making things worse."
Biden: How many small businessmen are making $1,400,000 a year average in the top 1 percent. Give me a break. I remind my friend John McCain what he said. When Bush called for war and tax cuts he said, quote, "It is immoral, immoral to take a nation to war and not have anybody pay for it." I am so sick and tired of this phoniness. The truth of the matter is that we are in trouble, and the people who do not need a new tax cut should be willing as patriotic Americans to understand the way to get this economy back up on their feet is to give middle class taxpayers a break. We take the tax cut they're getting and we give it to the middle class.