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Biden not hesitant on 'better off' question

Biden not hesitant on 'better off' question
Shawna Shepherd/CNN
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Monday, September 3, 2012 - 1:20pm

His fellow Democrats may have struggled over the weekend to answer the question "are Americans better off now than they were four years ago," but Vice President Joe Biden addressed the query head on at a rally in Detroit Monday, saying it was clear President Barack Obama's accomplishments have put Americans in a better place.

"Folks, let me make something clear," Biden said at the Labor Day event. "I'll say it to the press. America is better off today than they left us when they left."

Biden's remarks came after a day of clean-up for Democrats, some of whom struggled to answer the "four year" question on television Sunday. Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said on CBS the answer was "no" before suggesting it was the wrong question to ask.

O'Malley, along with spokesmen for the Democratic National Committee and Obama's campaign, both appeared again Monday to say the economy was doing better today than it was in 2008, pointing to accomplishments made by the president in staunching job losses.

In Detroit Monday, Biden also pointed to Obama's singular foreign policy achievement, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the successful recovery of the American auto industry, as examples of how the country was now in a better place than 2008.

"You want to know whether we are better off? I've got a better off. Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!" Biden proclaimed, using a favorite campaign line.

Mitt Romney's campaign disputed Biden's claim, writing "the truth is that the middle class has been crushed in the Obama economy."

"Americans aren't better off than they were four years ago, and they deserve a president who recognizes that," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.

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