Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Vice President Joe Biden said Democrats stopped talking to white working class voters.
Partial transcript as follows:
MATTHEWS: Back as recently as 1996, 44% of the white working class working people voted Democrat. They voted for Bill Clinton. Recently, in 2012, it went down to 29%. it may go down — why has this gone — Pat Moynihan, your former colleague, he said, the Democratic party should build on the white working class instead of abandoning it. What went wrong? how’d you lose it?
BIDEN: What went wrong is a number of things, but not the least of was that as the economy began to crumble, and it started long before the recession and the Bush administration, all the focus was on people that were hanging on the edge. And needed to be. People going off the cliff, working class people who were poor. People who were in real difficulty. And so, what happened is, that person — the guy works on the line, the woman’s a waitress, they’re making 90,000 bucks a year, and they still can’t make it, if they have two kids. And we don’t talk to them anymore. We don’t associate with their difficulty anymore. And it’s almost like, like somehow they’re in good shape, but they’re not. They’re not.
They can’t figure out how to get their kid to college. When you and I were — well, I’ll speak for myself. I always hear the economist in our outfit will say, middle class is $51,000. No, the middle class is about being able to send your kid to a park and come home safe. Middle class is about being able to send them to a high school where if they do well, they get to college. If they can get there, you can figure out how to pay for it. You can own your house and not rent. You can take care of mom when dad dies. And when the recession came along, they were killed.. they had $20,000, $30,000 equity in their home and they thought they had something and it got wiped out. Even if they never missed a mortgage payment. Even if they were able to keep their house, they absolutely got clobbered.
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