President Joe Biden blamed former President Barack Obama on Wednesday for underselling the administration’s 2009 stimulus spending bill.
“[T]he economists told us we literally saved America from a depression,” Biden boasted in his remarks during the House Democratic Caucus Virtual Issues Conference on Wednesday night.
At the time, Obama put Biden in charge of preventing waste in the massive $787 billion spending program.
“To you, he’s Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the sheriff,” Obama said at the time.
Biden expressed regret Obama undercut his attempt to promote the success of the stimulus program.
“[W]e didn’t adequately explain what we had done,” Biden said. “Barack was so modest, he didn’t want to take, as he said, a ‘victory lap.'”
Biden continued criticizing Obama during his remarks, warning Democrats not to make the same mistake with his newly proposed $1.9 trillion spending package.
“I kept saying, ‘Tell people what we did,'” Biden recalled. “He said, ‘We don’t have time. I’m not going to take a victory lap.’ And we paid a price for it, ironically, for that humility.”
Biden said his massive spending package was overwhelmingly popular with Americans.
“We never had anything this urgent and this ambitious that was so widely embraced,” he said.
He predicted a long future of political success for the party if the spending package was passed and promoted by Democrats.
“I know parts of this — and everything else we seek to do — are not easy, but people are going to remember how we showed up in this moment, how we listened to them — to them — not special interests; to them — and how we took action,” he said.