CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for proposing policies that Biden says would cut taxes for millionaires and raise them for middle-class families.
By comparison, Biden says President Barack Obama's plan asks the wealthy to pay only a little bit more in taxes. Romney's campaign has said claims by Obama's campaign about Romney's tax plan are false.
Biden told about 1,000 supporters that he doesn't understand how Romney can justify cutting taxes for the rich.
"These folks don't need these tax cuts," Biden said. "They're not even asking for tax cuts."
Biden has visited North Carolina several times as vice president, most recently to attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in early September. He was scheduled to campaign later Tuesday in Asheville, N.C.
He also visited Durham last month, when he blasted Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan's proposals for Medicare and Social Security.
Campaigns for both Obama and Romney are putting a lot of effort into winning North Carolina. Obama narrowly won the state over Republican John McCain in 2008, becoming the first Democrat since 1976 to do so.
Biden was about an hour late to the rally because his flight into Charlotte was delayed by severe thunderstorms. But when he arrived, he quickly made the case for Obama's re-election.
"They talk about the Great Recession like it fell out of the sky in 2008," Biden said of GOP critics, as he laid blame for the economic collapse in part on tax cuts during the George W. Bush administration and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "What did it do? It produced the Great Recession, which absolutely eviscerated the middle class," he said.
Biden said the GOP wants to try to balance the budget by cutting spending for seniors, education and those in need.
The vice president also said he couldn't understand Romney's caught-on-video comment dismissing the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income tax as people who see themselves as victims and who won't take responsibility for their lives.
"I didn't recognize the country they're talking about," Biden said. "The American people are so much better, so much stronger, take on so much more responsibility than these guys give them credit for or even begin to understand. The question I have is how could they have such a profound misunderstanding of the people of this country," he asked.
"And folks, I've got news for Congressman Ryan and Gov. Romney. America's neither dependent nor in decline and gentlemen, let me say it to you straight into the camera, it's never, never, never been a good bet to bet against the American people. Never. Never," he said.