Vice President Joe Biden said the troubled U.S. economy belongs to the Obama administration -- not the Bush administration -- in an interview with a Florida radio station Wednesday.
That his administration "inherited" a struggling economy has been a consistent talking point for President Barack Obama since taking office, but Biden told WLRN "that's not relevant" because "we are are the ones in charge":
"There’s a lot of people in Florida that have good reason to be upset because they’ve lost jobs. Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant. What’s relevant is we’re in charge. And right now we are the ones in charge and it’s gotten better but it hasn’t gotten good enough. And in states like Florida, it’s even been more stagnant because of the real estate market. And so I don’t blame them for being mad. We’re in charge."
White House press secretary Jay Carney attempted to dial back Biden's quote Thursday, saying Biden "didn't say that the blame for it is owned" but that Americans "want their elected officials in Washington to act to improve the situation."
According to CBS, Biden also said it is "totally legitimate" for the 2012 presidential election to "understandably" serve as "a referendum on Obama and Biden and the nature and state of the economy." He said it's "soon going to be a choice" for Americans whether to vote for what Obama or the eventual Republican nominee are offering the country.