Vice President Joe Biden praised James Foley, the U.S. journalist beheaded on videotape by Iraqi terrorists, at an event Wednesday in East Hartford, a stop on a political swing through Connecticut to raise money for the Democratic Governors Association and the state Democratic Party.
Before a roundtable discussion on workforce development at Goodwin College, Biden called Foley “a guy who was all about the truth and seeking the truth. Our hearts go our to the Foley family.” The vice president described the execution, depicted in a video released Tuesday, as “sheer savagery.”
Biden was joined in East Hartford by Louis Chenevert, the chief executive office of United Technologies Corp., and four Democratic officeholders: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Reps. John B. Larson of the 1st District and Elizabeth Esty of the 5th District.
The vice president said U.S.manufacturing was on the rebound.
“I don’t have to remind anybody we went through a godawful recession,” Biden said. He said the country lost nearly 9 million jobs. “The recession clobbered the middle class. The previous eight to ten years, the middle class was already losing ground. But things have begun to change.”
He said the United States has added 9.9 million new jobs. American workers are three times more productive than Chinese workers. He said during the 1990s, the conventional wisdom was, “We can no longer be in manufacturing.”
“But here’s the deal: Your children all heard the phrase outsourcing. Your grandchildren are going to hear the phrase insourcing,” Biden said. “Manufacturing is coming back to the United States of America.”
He was hosting two fundraisers in Fairfield County for the party and Democratic Governors Association. The party and the DGA are both playing significant roles supporting the re-election of Malloy.
“I think it’s important to keep really good men and women in office. This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said.
He said Democrats and Republicans once could work together in Washington on topics such as infrastructure. He said everyone used to believe that workers should share in the rising profitability of their employers.
“That’s not happening today. I don’t know the governor’s opponent. He doesn’t seem to share that view,” Biden said.
He praised Malloy as an innovative governor.
“I’m prejudiced, he’s my friend. He’s a Democrat. I’m a Democrat,” he said. “I acknowledge that. But by any standard, this guy has done more. How can we be arguing about whether the minimum wage should go up? Sixty seven percent of the American people think the minimum wage should go up.”
He said Malloy was one of the few governors who obtained passage of a higher minimum wage. Malloy reminded him he was the first to win a law setting the minimum at $10.10, the goal set by President Obama for the federal minimum.
With the two fundraisers in Stamford and Greenwich, Biden was following in the footsteps of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
He recently campaigned with Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley and attended two fundraisers in Greenwich, one for the state GOP and one for the RGA.