Election 2020

Biden: Past 8 Presidents Had 'Moral Center About What It Was to be an American'

Then Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton on Sept. 1, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Vice President Joe Biden ripped on Donald Trump’s debate responses about the housing crisis and taxes before a swing-state crowd at Drexel University in Pennsylvania today.

In Monday night’s face-off with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee said, “Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said, back in 2006, ‘Gee, I hope it does collapse, because then I can go in and buy some and make some money.’ Well, it did collapse.”

“That’s called business, by the way,” Trump interjected.

At another point in the debate, Clinton said Trump possibly hasn’t released his tax returns because “maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.”

“That makes me smart,” Trump said.

Biden said of those statements: “I really mean it. It angers me. It angers me.”

“Tell that to the janitor here who’s paying taxes. Tell it to my dad who, when he was alive, busted his neck working 60 hours a week, paid all his taxes. Tell that to the mothers and fathers who are breaking their neck to send you here who are paying their taxes,” the vice president said.

“He acknowledged that when the housing market collapsed, and maybe a lot of your parents, if they didn’t lose their home, they lost the equity in their home. You know what that equity was for? That equity was for their retirement. That equity was able to get your older sister or brother to school because they could borrow against it. That equity was their insurance. That equity was what gave them peace of mind when they got in bed. And this is a guy — this is a guy who said, and wants to be president, that it was good business for him to see the housing market fail. What in the hell is he talking about?”

Biden said he’s “disagreed and agreed” through eight presidents as a lawmaker and veep.

“But every president I have served with, including the Republicans, has had a moral center about what it was to be an American. About what we’re supposed to do,” he continued.

“About what basic, fundamental rights are. This guy — but I mean it. Think about it. Can you imagine, Ronald Reagan, the most conservative president we’ve had in a long — can you imagine him saying, it’s good business to take advantage of people’s misery? Rooting for that misery? I really mean this. I am not joking. I’m not kidding. What does it say about this man? And he wants to be president of the United States of America.”

The vice president declared that Trump “does not have the basic fundamental sensibilities and values that almost every American politician, left, right, and center, I know, has.”

“They disagree on how to make things better for people, but they don’t take pleasure from knowing that they will benefit,” Biden added.

Clinton has a slim lead over Trump in the critical swing state. After Biden’s visit to Philadelphia today, first lady Michelle Obama will rally voters at a Philadelphia event on Wednesday.

Trump has no scheduled stops in Pennsylvania this week. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, will be in York on Thursday.