Vice President Joe Biden trotted out a new line of attack against Republicans on Thursday, terming the nation's economic difficulties the "Bush recession."
The vice president sought to explicitly link the recession plaguing many Americans to President George W. Bush as Democrats ramp up their attacks on the previous administration.
"There's never enough until we've restored the 8 million jobs lost in the Bush recession," Biden said on NBC's "Today" show when asked if the administration had done enough to address unemployment. "Until that happens it doesn't matter — it matters, but it's not enough."
Democrats have increasingly invoked Bush in their campaign messaging, sensing that blaming the former Republican president helps explain why so many problems haven't been resolved despite over a year and a half of Democratic control of government. They also use Bush as a shorthand for the kind of policies that, Democrats warn, GOP lawmakers and candidates would revive if they were given power in November's elections.
Another top Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), has said that there is essentially no limit to how long Democrats could credibly invoke Bush, as long as hangover effects from his presidency plague the U.S.
"Well, it runs out when the problems go away," Pelosi said in early June when asked if there was a limit to how long Democrats could blame Bush.
The former president, who's stayed largely out of the public spotlight since leaving office and avoided strong criticism of President Obama, is likely to become only more of an election-year issue, as well.
Lawmakers have still yet to determine the fate of the tax cuts Bush sought during his administration, which are set to expire at the end of the year. The former president's memoir is set for release a week after the election, as well, meaning that any excerpts that might leak before then could cause a political firestorm on the campaign trail so close to Election Day.
Still, Biden told the still-large number of jobless Americans to "keep the faith" when it comes to finding employment in the shifting economy.
"My message is keep the faith. We are moving in the right direction," Biden said when asked what his message to the jobless was. "We are not going to let you go without food or basic services. That is not going to happen in this country, in this administration."