DES MOINES, Iowa--Vice President Joe Biden delivered a populist-themed speech in front of Iowa's State Capitol building, stoking speculation he may be considering another presidential run.
Biden's staff called his trip an "official" visit, as part of his duties. But the stop had the feel of a campaign event, as Biden saluted Democratic lawmakers in the audience, as well as union members. And he criticized Republicans for promoting policies that further widen the country's growing wealth gap between the richest Americans and everyone else. "Why on earth," Biden asked the crowd of about 250 people, "Does someone who makes tens of millions of dollars managing a hedge fund pay 15% in taxes when a guy or woman working at General Motors making $55,000 a year pays 25% a year in taxes."
The liberal, social justice group "Nuns on the Bus" organized the event. The group focuses attention on taking away the influence of money in politics.
Biden singled out several issues in need of action, those that have stalled in congress. He urged lawmakers to raise the minimum wage and pass immigration reform.
But most his speech focused on pushing plans that will better the middle class. Among his lines:
"Are corporations overtaxed? Are you kidding me?"
"Look, the middle class is in real trouble."