WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is so out of touch with regular Americans that he thinks the middle class extends to people making up to $250,000.
But Biden apparently forgot that that's the same benchmark that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats regularly use when talking about extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class.
During a campaign event in Burlington, Iowa, Biden mocked Romney for saying Obama is out of touch with average Americans when Romney is the one with Swiss bank accounts and millions of dollars tucked away in the Cayman Islands.
"He thinks the middle class is $200,000 to $250,000. Whoa! Whoa!" Biden said to cheers. "Don't you all wish you were in that middle class? Whoa!"
In an interview last week on ABC's "Good Morning America," Romney said he would define "middle-income" as between $200,000 to $250,000 a year and less.
"He's totally out of touch with the reality of what ordinary Americans deal with every day," Biden said about Romney. "He does not get it. He does not understand."
But for months, Obama has been urging Congress to extend the "middle-class" Bush-era tax cuts on the first $250,000 of people's income.
"Pass a bill extending the tax cuts for the middle class, I will sign it tomorrow," Obama said in July. "I just believe that anybody making over $250,000 should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under Bill Clinton."
Congressional Democrats, too, have consistently used the $250,000 threshold when talking about middle-class cuts. In July, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hailed Senate passage of a bill extending the Bush-era tax cuts at that level. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) conceded in August that she was bluffing when she briefly said the limit should be bumped up from $250,000 to $1 million. It should stay at $250,000, she said.
UPDATE: 8:02 p.m. -- An Obama campaign aide responded by reiterating that Romney's policies are aimed at helping the wealthy.
"As the vice president made clear in his remarks today, Mitt Romney’s proposals are out-of-touch -- he would voucherize Medicare, and pay for new tax cuts for the wealthy by hiking them on the middle class. While President Obama is fighting for middle-class families and has cut their taxes every year he’s been in office, nonpartisan studies have made clear that Mitt Romney's tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires come from only one place -- the pockets of middle-class families. That's the clear choice in this election," the aide said in a statement.