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Coverage of Virginia politics and the 2014 election.

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In Va rally, VP Biden says GOP doesn’t understand middle class

CHESTERFIELD — Vice President Joe Biden said the Republican presidential ticket doesn’t understand the middle class and has a “profound misunderstanding of who the American people are.”

Biden, in his seventh visit to Virginia this year, was speaking to a rally of supporters in Chesterfield, south of Richmond. The local fire department said 626 people attended the rally in a small exhibition hall at the county’s fairgrounds.

Biden cast the presidential race as one between two fundamentally different views of the middle class, and characterized Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as politicians who would lower taxes on wealthy Americans at the expense of the middle class.

“Middle class is a value set,” Biden said, in which people aspire to own a home in a safe neighborhood with good schools that prepare their kids for college.

He said Romney’s recent comments, which surfaced in a video last week, that 47 percent of Americans who have no federal income tax liability are “victims” who feel dependent on the government, show that he and Ryan “just don’t understand” the middle class.

Most of those people, Biden said, pay numerous other taxes and don’t pay federal income taxes because they don’t make enough money.

“Romney should be respecting their hard work. That’s the job of a president, to lift people up, not to tear them down,” Biden said. “We are all in this together, and if the 47 percent doesn’t make it, the country doesn’t make it.”