President Barack Obama on Friday said picking Vice President Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was “the best decision that I ever made politically,” and again ridiculed Republicans for investigating what he called “phony scandals.”
Obama and Biden both spoke at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., on the second day of Obama’s bus tour through New York and Pennsylvania speaking about making college more affordable. Scranton is the hometown of Biden, though he eventually moved to Delaware, where he was elected to the Senate. Friday also marked the five year anniversary since Obama had announced Biden as his running mate.
US Vice President Joe Biden (R) introduces President Barack Obama to speak on college affordability at the Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on August 23, 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Biden – known for frequent gaffes – is reportedly considering another run for the White House in 2016, facing a possible challenge from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who Obama passed on choosing as a running mate after he defeated her in a closely contested 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
“Today is a special day for Joe and me because five years ago today, on Aug. 23, 2008, I announced in Springfield, Ill., my home state, that Joe Biden was going to be my running mate,” Obama said, with a smiling Biden sitting behind him on the stage. “And it was the best decision that I ever made politically because I love this guy and he’s got heart and he cares about people and he’s willing to fight for what he believes in. He’s got Scranton in him. There’s not a day that goes by when Joe doesn’t talk about where he’s come from.”
Biden introduced the president and praised his hometown.
“The people who grew up in neighborhoods like this one like I grew up in in Scranton have dreams just as big, just as expansive and just as accomplishable as any place in the world,” Biden said.
During his remarks at community college, Obama excoriated Republicans in Congress.
“I haven’t seen a policy coming out of them that would actually help ordinary folks,” the president said. “And we can’t afford the usual Washington circus – distractions, political posturing and special interests and phony scandals, we can’t afford that. We’ve got too much work to do. We’ve got to build on the cornerstone of what it means to be middle class in America.”
As in the past, Obama didn’t identify what he considered a phony scandal. But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when asked the question, identified the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of tea party and conservative organizations, as well as the investigation into the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were murdered, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Featured image via AFP/Getty