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August 1, 2014

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Nevada Wonk

Joe Biden visits Las Vegas looking for Teamster support

Vice president critical of GOP during speech at Paris hotel-casino

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Justin M. Bowen

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to thousands of Teamsters gathered for the 28th International Brotherhood of Teamsters at the Paris hotel-casino convention center in Las Vegas Friday, July 1, 2011.

Joe Biden Speaks to Teamsters in Las Vegas

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to thousands of Teamsters gathered for the 28th International Brotherhood of Teamsters at the Paris hotel-casino convention center in Las Vegas Friday, July 1, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Vice President Joe Biden credits organized labor with helping him win a U.S. Senate seat and the vice presidency. Now he’s looking for Teamster support to return him and President Barack Obama to the White House in 2012.

Biden visited Las Vegas on Friday to speak to thousands of members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters who gathered at Paris Las Vegas for their annual convention. Biden said his speech wasn’t supposed to be political but nevertheless warned, “Don’t come to me if you (vote Republican). You’re on your own, Jack.”

In fact, Biden’s speech was the definition of political. He ticked off a list of policies the Obama administration has fought for to help unions and strengthen the middle class and blasted GOP opposition as arrogant and elitist.

“Your logo is the horse’s head,” he told the Teamsters. “Their logo should be the other end.”

Biden said the GOP believes in concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a chosen few, while Democrats support opportunity for all. He warned the Teamsters that Republicans had launched the most direct assault on unions since the 1920s.

“They think you don’t even know what’s in your best interests. They’ve convinced themselves they know best. You’re the only thing that stands between the barbarians at the gate and them taking over,” Biden said.

Biden was clearly trying to parlay his popularity with labor into support for his and Obama’s 2012 campaign. They’ll need it: The administration has faltered in polls recently, both in Nevada and nationwide.

A Magellan poll released last week showed 53 percent of Nevadans were unhappy with Obama’s tenure so far; 41 percent approved of the job he’s doing. That marks a significant, double-digit downturn against him since the beginning of the year.

Click to enlarge photo

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to thousands of Teamsters gathered for the 28th International Brotherhood of Teamsters at the Paris hotel-casino convention center in Las Vegas Friday, July 1, 2011.

Nevada will be a key battleground state in 2012 as both parties fight for its six electoral votes. Obama’s poll numbers show he could have a harder time winning the state than he did in 2008.

The president’s problems here are two-fold, analysts say. He polls poorly among independents, a key constituency, and Republicans are more united in their disapproval of him than Democrats are in their approval. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has consistently led Obama in state polls and could be a far more formidable opponent than John McCain was last cycle.

Nationally, Obama’s approval rating hovers below 50 percent. Forty-seven percent of voters approve of the way he has handled his job, while 44 percent disapprove, a CBS News/New York Times poll released this week found. On the economy, 39 percent think the president is doing a good job (although few blame him for the country’s fiscal woes.)

Biden hopes that the unions’ power can help bridge the administration’s popularity gap.

“We can’t lose this war,” Biden urged. “The middle class can’t afford to lose it, the country can’t afford to lose it. We’ve been working like the devil to pass laws that protect you.”

Biden reminded the crowd that Obama has fought against union busting, supported prevailing wages and required “buy American” provisions in the Recovery Act. The federal stimulus saved 3.5 million jobs, he said, while the government’s bailout of the auto industry kept a million people working.

By comparison, Republicans are fighting to protect tax breaks for the wealthy, Biden said. In 2010, the country’s top 25 hedge fund managers made $22 billion in personal income and paid 15 percent in taxes, the vice president said. Most middle-class citizens paid 26 percent in taxes.

“I don’t care if they make a lot of money, but they should be paying their fair taxes,” he said. “Why should they pay 10 percent less than you? That’s a $20 billion loss to the Treasury.”

“This is about jobs — jobs you can raise a family on.”

Audience members rose to their feet. Biden’s voice grew louder. Patriotic music piped into the room.

“We will restore America, so help me God,” Biden shouted into the microphone as he exited the stage. The Teamsters cheered.

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  1. A great speech. It should have been piped in to all Nevada classrooms. What a refreshing change to the cynical dogma from people like Chuck Mouth and NPRI.

  2. A bumbling buffoon pandering to lazy, greedy union thugs.

    I doesn't matter if regular folks get flushed even further down the economic toilet so long as union pay, perks and pensions are protected.

  3. Isn't there something going on right now he should be working on? I can't remember but there is something very important going on right now and he is supposed to be handling it.

    I think it must have something to do with the debit. Must mean thats all taken care of since he's running around the country begging for support for something a yr away.

    Maybe if he would go back and do his job properly and get it done he wouldn't need to hit the campaign trail so early.

  4. I also don't think he understands there is a very bitter taste in taxpayers mouthers over the public unions in this state.

    Private unions on the other hand I could care less about. They are putting themselves out of work.

  5. It's not even July,2011. The election is almost a year and a half away. Commonsense101 is right. There is too much to do to be spending time doing this. I don't care which party is in the oval office, at least give us three years of hard work. Also, if the Democrats are interested in getting things done with the Republicans, they have a funny way of going about it. The President chastises them in his latest speech and the VP calls them a horse's a**. Not the way to go about getting both sides to work together, is it?

  6. Has Nevada actually received anything for supporting Obama/Biden or for that matter Reid? I remember reading a number of articles over the past 2 years that said NV doesn't get federal money for this and NV doesn't get federal money for that. I think these politicians have more balls than brains to show up here wanting support. Be that as it may, shouldn't Biden be in D.C. right now working on the national debt situation.

  7. You want a wake up call about getting Federal Tax dollars to our state.

    Check this out: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-kl...

    Seems the RED states tend to get the most money. The R's keep talking about cutting but their states are getting much more Federal tax money then they pay in. The rest of us are supporting their states.

    Fact is much better then fiction. ;-)

  8. Hey Mick,

    Conservatives can't have it both ways. The Republicans got their wish this last legislative session and spending on education and health shrank. As a result, federal matching funds will shrink more. In the past, Republicans have cut cut cut and we have received less less and less.

    So, when the Repubs get their wish and less is spent, they can't complain that they aren't getting more federal money.

    Of course, that's not what the people of this state want. They want their tax money spent on their needs and not on tax breaks for foreign mining corporations. But Sandogibbons, Cegavske, Hamrick, and the Repubs in the Assembly think that our money belongs to the rich.

  9. " Also, if the Democrats are interested in getting things done with the Republicans, they have a funny way of going about it"

    Could also read: Also, if the Republicans are interested in getting things done with the Democrats, they have a funny way of going about it.

  10. "It's not even July,2011. The election is almost a year and a half away"

    Tell this to the Republicans since they, too, are running around, flapping their jaws and pushing their agendas and basically all saying the same thing. Face it, we have 18 more months of nasty comments, incorrect comments, Obama-bashing, Republican (fill in the name) bashing, ridiculous political ads and commercials, etc etc etc. It's going to be a LOOOOOOOOONG 18 months.

    NVFisherman
    Get over it already! Biden and Obama are not responsible for Vegas losing convention business. Or any tourism business for that matter. You really have no idea what you are talking about. Get your head out of your butt. Face it: NO Washington politician, present or future, cares about what happens in Vegas, and neither does the rest of the voting public in this country. They are worried about their OWN cities and States. Vegas is not real to them. It's a fantasy land with nothing but casinos, show girls, flashy shows, gambling and can't even relate.

  11. Uncle Joe - one of the biggest blowhards in the history of the modern senate and a staunch Democrat begging for help from the Teamsters.

    Democrat Party - A wholly owned subsidiary of the unions.

    Times are tough and uncle Joe wants payback for selling GM to the UAW and playing class warfare for the unions over everyone else... lower class, middle class and upper class.

    What he doesn't tell you is he doesn't care what class you're in, he'll throw you under the bus or sell you down the river for a campaign contribution and a few votes.

    He and Barrack will tailor their message to the audience, pander to them and tell them whatever they think will sell. Out of work? They'll promise you jobs and blame the other party. Out of money? They'll promise you tax breaks, give aways and benefits and blame those who have more than you.
    Out of luck? They'll promise you they'll promise you to make your life better and blame anyone they can. Except themselves.

    What will the Democrats never do? Accept responsibility, take the blame themselves, urge self discipline or tell you it's not governments job to hold your hand and owe you a living. They couldn't get elected if they did, their entire premise is you aren't smart enough to think for yourself, disciplined enough to make it on your own or responsible enough to learn from your mistakes, get back up and succeed without a government handout.

    That would be against their religion and their DNA.

  12. Det Munch. The republicans are flapping thier gums about a PRIMARY election. This election is much closer. Obama and Biden don't need to win a primary with thier party.

    So they need to get the f*&^ back to work already!

  13. Tsk tsk tsk...

    Such harsh words for our Vice President!
    I guess it's okay for Mittens Romney to pop into town for a quick ten MILLION in Campaign Cash, and come back a couple weeks later for ANOTHER "fundraiser", but Joe Biden has no business talking to our Teamster's! My GOD, they're UNION people! The AUDACITY! I bet he SWORE!

    Obama/Biden, 2012.
    All of the Repub/TeaNut anti-union activity backfires in a HUGE WAY; Democrats turn out in record numbers to hand the Romney/Bachman ticket a historic defeat at the polls.
    Landslide!!!

  14. So "Union" supercedes Americans? Showing their true colors.
    An Independant

  15. In his speech at Paris, Biden just unleased more of his typical ill-mannered and imflammatory rhetoric. This guy is a consumate politician, and a staunch "union shill." He is living in the past, when unions were doing good things for people, and good good legislation passed to help the workers.

    But these days, unions are mostly about filling their coffers with money from the "slaves" that are "FORCED" (in many cases) to belong to the unions - who MUST PAY THE UNIONS DUES, or get thrown under the bus (perhaps, literally). This is intimidation - and they want to do more of it through "Card Check."

    It has been shown that all this money the unions TAKE in dues is NOT for the "WORKING MAN" - but for UNION BOSSES; to pay for their hugh salaries, to engage in fund-raising for the Democratic Party, and filter such monies (taken from hard working union members) to the Democratic Party - whether the unionized workers agree with this use of the money, or not.

    As for Biden, the comment (herein) about what he SHOULD BE DOING NOW in Washington, DC, now - is right on point. He was assigned to help foster constructive talks with the democrats and republicans on the DEFICIT to reduce spending, and avoid BANKRUPTCY - which would, in effect, destroy the value of the American dollar.

    Instead, Biden - AND OBAMA - are both running around the country mouthing off at fundraisers,- and Biden, in his typical "union jingo" manner, is spouting threatening phrases to warn union members: "Don't come to me if you (vote Republican). You're on your own, Jack."

    Well, "Jack" - everyone in this country is on his own, whether a union member or not. And if the government would STOP passing all those laws that cost money (which are funded by ALL TAXPAYERS -including UNION members) - we just might climb out of this fiscal mess.

    In his recent press conference (the only one in 3 months), Obama BLAMED the spending created by legislation on the U.S. Congress - both parties. WELL, MR. PRESIDENT, YOU are the only one who can SIGN LEGISLATION INTO LAW. You can always VETO it, but you haven't.

    So, indeed, "THE BUCK STOPS HERE" - with Obama.

    And the reason there is has been NO BUDGET PASSED in a Democratic-controlled Congress for the last two years... is because OBAMA could NOT SPEND MORE MONEY FREELY if he had to ENSURE MONEY WAS AVAILABLE - BEFORE HE SIGNED LEGISLATION. THAT is called: fiscal restraint - and is what it takes to creat a "balanced budget."

  16. The Obama charade masquerading as 'Debt Negotiations' is an affront to the intelligence of the American people. Obama has categorically NO intention of curtailing his profligate spending that has rappelled America into the fiscal abyss that threatens to devour our Nation's prosperity. Obama's intense sensitivity to polling data that reflects the miserable failure of his Socialist policies, coupled with the deviant tutelage of his Chicago indoctrination into politics, prompts our 'misfit' in the WH to actively precipitate a debt default so as to depict the Republicans, who are attempting to enforce some semblance of fiscal discipline on a petulant Obama, as the culprits in the looming default on our debt obligations. For several months now Obama has labored at 'setting-up' the Republicans as the enemy of the poor, the elderly and the infirmed; and, will viciously sacrifice the less fortunate as faux victims of 'portrayed' Republican intransigence in order to regain a relative advantage over his opponents in the coming election. Disregarding the inescapable fact that the Obama agenda will progressively bankrupt every sector of the American economy, and eventually force the collapse of our entire social safety-net structure, it is only the Republican maturity/responsible-intercession that will preserve Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. for future generations of Americans. If we are to survive as a functioning Democratic Republic, it is absolutely essential that the American electorate not once again be beguiled by the Obama 'CON'. Observe his actions and ignore his willfully contradictory/deceptive rhetoric incessantly flowing from his teleprompters. Greg Neubeck

  17. It's amazzzzing that they got him out of a bar long enough to give a speech. What a babbling buffoon!!!!!

  18. What I am not seeing or hearing from all sides is jobs and getting NV economy up. As this blog bashes both sides, I see only a need to be right and negitive talk; not a positive side and pulling solutions. Yes, the billionairs in LV are moving away and hoarding. But, what are we doing to help get us back on our feet. What I want to hear from the dems is small business solutions and jobs. Unions are necessary because of their grouping together on an issue to help working class. Yes they are not as good as they used to be; but, they do something. We need the way to get small businesses up and running better. And new infrustructure jobs. It would have been nice to hear of how the feds could get this stadium built and to get the big boys to finish their strip properties. If the unions what to succeed, those projects are where they need to focus on.
    As for small business, My partner and I are doing our best to get us going. The gov't system is complacated and expensive to do it right. We need help and its hard to find it. That system needs to be made easier here. This is what we need to focus on. If there are other solutions, put them out there. Let's see if we can solve this. Stop negitive and blame talk and start solution talk.

  19. All the usual attacks on Vice President Biden that go from anything and everything about his personal traits, his speaking the truth of matters using colorful language (even though he shouldn't), why can't he be feeding starving kids in Biafra rather than campaigning in Las Vegas, and even he reads from a teleprompter too.

    I just want to point out that Vice President Biden don't actually walk out of meetings when he encounters stuff he disagrees with. When the going gets tough, they don't take their ball, their bat, their glove and go home. He's a statesman who knows why he was elected into office: To serve. And he knows party politics followed ALL THE TIME don't get you nowhere in getting things done. It just turns the American people off, looking away in disgust.

    The new tactic by stupid Republicans make them look childish. When negotiations proceed along the logical course that much needed revenue needs to happen; logically by making the filthy rich pay what they should have been paying (fair share, righties, NOT a tax increase...fair share they should have been paying for starting ten years ago). But no. Cantor and Kyl do their Las Vegas act and exit stage left the moment this issue is brought forth. But look what compels them! The stated goal of the Republican Party is still in place: They want nothing but the utter and complete destruction of President Obama and his entire administration. They prove time and time again they could care about nothing else. The country could join the third world ones, and they could care less.

    Get used to it, righties. President Obama/Vice President Biden will be here for another four years.

    Because the choices to pick from, most people wouldn't trust them to do a good job vacuuming out their car. Michele Bachmann as President?!?!? Gimme a break. She creates problems, not solutions. She would rather whine and complain. Not roll up her sleeves to fix a damn thing. She becomes President? If that happens, we truly deserve everything we get.

    Guaranteed it would be too dangerous to elect a Republican back into office. Because there is a very, very good likelihood they would immediately do a hard right into a U-turn that takes us back to the eight years of incompetency of the Bush the Lesser years.

    We can't afford to revisit that idiocy and hope to even hope to see change for the better. The middle class would be completely destroyed if that were to happen. You'd just have the filthy rich and the peasants. But I'm pretty sure if that happened, the filthy rich would still complain they aren't getting enough money, get out there, Republicans, and print us some more money so we can bankrupt America, but don't let anyone know until it's too late, good job, here's some more money for your campaigns, tell the American people anything but don't tell them the truth of the matter, go ahead and start another war if you like.

  20. Teamster is not a real person. If you read his pasts posts you'll see a lot of the same wording. It's a tool to get people angry and reply to the dumb posts. I doubt he is a teamster. He/She will not even put a real name up with the posts lol.

    Teamster is a disgrace to the "REAL" Teamsters. Teamster is the real communist trying to make class warfare. I'm not big on the Unions, specifically public employee unions.

    Anxious for Teamsters reply. Go ahead and say Communist, China, Greedy Republicans, or any of the same nonsense that Teamster post. I need a laugh. Please reply lol

  21. Obama got Osama bin laden and that's good enough for me. I feel safer now.

  22. A lot of people posting on here I've never seen before.

  23. That's because they're all shills to attack unions. And somehow turn everything around that it's the fault of President Obama/Vice President Biden.

    Republicans are good at throwing stuff out there repeatedly, non-stop, loud, louder, LOUDEST. Make sure a message gets out there in hopes that others repeat it.

    Look at all the recent posters. Every single damn one of them is talking union busting. It's all an agenda. If people fail to see this mouth machine that is the only thing the Republicans have, then you need to wake up.

    I'm not fooled. Nor should anyone else.

    Republicans always think they can get people to vote against their best interests.

    Unions are a far cry from anything anti-American. They are not the problem. They are actually the solution. The filthy rich absolutely HATE unions. Because it prevents them from making money, more money, more money, MOST money. They want others to sacrifice for them while they reap in the rewards and shove the bad off on the middle class. The filthy rich hate it when the middle class has a voice in the workplace. So, therefore that's why the Republicans side with them. Campaign money.

    So far, it's a proven fact that the non-ability to make the filthy rich pay their fair share of taxes is the heart of the problem. And they HATE this fact being revealed. Because we got them. We see what they're doing. Divide and conquer.

    Don't believe me? Look at the Republicans and Fox News rhetoric lately. They claim they are being picked on and it's "class warfare." No. Class warfare actually started 30 years ago with an agenda to rape the middle class dry. So, now, when it's being called for what it is, it has them worried. Because, lemme tell you, people. MY class (the middle class) outnumbers the filthy rich. And we can and will smack the people out of power they hide behind. And all indications right now show it is the entire Republican Party.

    I am being partisan. You're damn right! Because the Republicans are out to destroy this country. My class has as it's only chance to side with President Obama and his administration.

    Republicans will do anything to deflect the conversation away from this entire issue.

    Anyone thinks any of these Republicans will provide a better country in the future, then there is a strong likelihood that frogs can sprout wings and fly and not have to slam their butts on the ground anymore.

    I personally am tired of it. I'm on the attack, calling them out for their hypocrisies. No apologies. I am calling them hypocrites out. Even on the State level with this succession of Republican Governors who have literally destroyed this State.

    I know I'm not alone. A lot of Americans are tired of the B.S. that is just not true.

    I am glad to see President Obama's administration is starting to show signs of life and striking back at the total destruction the entire Republican Party is doing to this country.

  24. The only American car I will buy now will be a Ford even though I prefer Chrysler. At least Ford managed to survive without a bailout. Chevy's suck, and always have (sorry, Dale.) Contrary to what NASCAR says, I just can't consider Toyota to be an American car.

    As for union solidarity, it is truly amazing that union members in the private sector who earn maybe $40k/yr are willing to pay higher taxes to ensure that their union brothers and sisters in the public sector can continue to earn $50k/yr or more.

    It should be pointed out that people like that are exactly what *both* major parties want our school system to produce: obedient sheep. That is, the powers that be want the majority of voters to be people who rarely think for themselves and who will usually follow the party line. People who blindly follow their union leaders are little different than TEA Party followers.

    Considering that both major parties can be thought of as two sides of the same coin they both win with supporters like that and the last thing they want is a strong, rational block of voters.

  25. Unions were responsible for the 40 hour work week, vacations, safe work places and stability. They made America a place to enjoy life.

    The headline reads: "Since 2009, 88 Percent Of Income Growth Went To Corporate Profits, Just One Percent Went To Wages".

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06...

    When conglomerates say they are "cash strapped", it means the owners and high ranking executives get first take on the money pot which they control. After taking as much as they dare, then claim the Government is taxing them too much and the Unions are destroying jobs.

    They are now working to achieve a large, jobless contingent of people, staving, waiting for work, and willing to drop to the least affordable wage. That is the definition of a third world country.

    Once Unions are out of the way, the individual doesn't stand a chance. Go Biden.

  26. And the next step down from there, part time employment, at the least available wage, no medical assistance, no vacations, and don't get sick: another is waiting at the gate to take your place. That has already begun with this depression. Put a Republican into the White House and prayers will be substituted for that last bowl of cold oatmeal you thought would be waiting. You will be taught the meaning of personal sacrifice, and how to be content with starvation.

  27. SunJon,

    Big Business is *not* "...working to achieve a large, jobless contingent of people, staving, waiting for work.." as you put it. (Though I might agree that Big Business wants to pay as little as possible.)

    Business needs consumers that are able to purchase products. Unemployed people can not buy products.

    Surely you recognize that people are going to spend as little as possible to buy the products they want. Right now the least expensive products are those produced overseas. Why would any American company expand production if they can not compete with imported goods and sell what they produce?

  28. When times are tough and people are out of work we don't go blow a bunch of jet fuel on a political campaign flight to Vegas. " Pres Obama"
    Joe Biden needs a math lesson. If 25 hedge fund manager made 22 billion and paid 15% taxes they paid 3.3 billion in taxes. 25 union members making $100,000 ( about $52.00 an hour!)after deductions pay $21,710 so in those 25 pay $542,750. While it seems like the hedge fund managers are paying $3,300,457,250 more I do not understand how if they paid 10% more the government would collect another 20 billion, they only made 22 billion to begin with. I also see the tax rate is 21.7%, not 26% for those $52 an hour union workers. I think you have to be in a government public service union to make over $171,800 to pay close to 26% in taxes. I don't know how you can complain when 25 people send you 3.3 billion dollars though, we need more of them.

  29. Unions or Americas future? It's our choice.