Joe Biden Tells Crowd ‘This Country Wasn’t Built by Wall Street’ in Raucous Campaign Kickoff

Joe Biden Tells Crowd ‘This Country Wasn’t Built by Wall Street’ in Raucous Campaign Kickoff

Joe Biden told a rally crowd in Pittsburgh that America “wasn’t built by hedge fund managers” as he kicked off his presidential campaign on Monday afternoon.

“The country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers, CEOs, and hedge funds managers. It was built by you!” the former vice president roared to a crowd chanting We want Joe! “It was built by the great American middle class! And the American middle class is built by unions, by you!”

“I see people like the millions of people across this nation who get up every single day, go out, work like the devil to raise their families, pay their taxes, volunteer in their communities,” he added. “To make this country work.”

In his first rally of the campaign, Biden leaned hard into his image as an avatar of the union-loving, blue-collar, lunch pail, meat-and-potatoes America, where manufacturing jobs once paid enough to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.

Biden also embraced unions, something that Democratic candidates have not been particularly willing to do in recent elections, and talked about the need to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

But for the most part he stayed away from policy, preferring to cast himself as being on the side of the middle class and not the plutocrats at the top of society.

He also tried to draw a contrast between himself and Donald Trump by slamming the tax cuts of which the president is so proud. He noted that most of the tax cut “went to folks at the top of corporations that pay no taxes” while average Americans did not feel it.

Watch the clip up top, via CNN.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.