Biden laments ‘Bush Recession’

BIDEN LAMENTS ‘BUSH RECESSION’…. Vice President Biden appeared on NBC’s “Today” show earlier, and used a line I don’t recall leading White House officials using before, at least not lately.

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Ann Curry noted that the administration has been blamed for high unemployment rates, and asked, “Has this administration done enough?”

Biden replied, “Let me put it this way: there’s never enough until we restore the 8 million jobs lost in the Bush Recession. Until that happens, it doesn’t matter. I mean, it matters, but it’s not enough.”

Asked about his message to struggling families, the V.P. added, “My message is, keep the faith. We are moving in the right direction. We are not going to let you go without food or basic services. That will not happen in this country, in our administration. And secondly, we’re creating new jobs that are going to be the kind you can raise your family on.”

Maybe I’ve missed it, but the line about the “Bush Recession” struck me as new. Biden said it casually, as if it were common, but it’s generally been a phrase Democrats have avoided.

Here’s hoping it’s the start of a new rhetorical emphasis. After all, Republicans have been candid about their desire to go back to the “exact same agenda” Bush/Cheney used to get us into this mess in the first place.

It is curious, though, why the White House didn’t embrace this sooner. Maybe the line took on new urgency when Republicans started talking up their intentions to return to Bush-era policies more earnestly, but it seems overdue.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.