VIDEO: Biden adviser takes shot at Chamber's 'free enterprise' defense

Vice President Biden's chief economic adviser chastised the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's new "Campaign for Free Enterprise," saying that had the group had its way on issues, the economy would have suffered more intensely.

White House economist Jared Bernstein took aim at what he said was the Chamber's "ideology" during an appearance Thursday morning on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program.

"I would argue that that group is missing the point," Bernstein said, defending the Obama administration's intervention in the economy. "Those are huge economic problems that greeted us when we got here."

"And to have ignored those problems because of an ideology like this group is espousing would have been a tremendous mistake, resigning this economy and American families to far deeper economic pain than has actually occurred," Bernstein added.

The Chamber said that no less than the future of capitalism was at stake in announcing its "Campaign for Free Enterprise" yesterday, which will include "aggressive issue advocacy" ahead of the 2010 elections, and will include paid advertising campaigns, new media blitzes, and grassroots organizing.

"No one's talking about changing the structure of the economy," Bernstein shot back at the Chamber. "These are temporary actions where we get into the system, take the needed action to correct a market failure, and get out of the system."

Update, 5:00 p.m.: Chamber Vice President of Communications Tom Collamore responded to Bernstein Thursday afternoon in a blog on the business group's website.

"I believe that it is Mr. Bernstein who is both missing the point and forgetting (perhaps willfully) recent history," Collamore wrote. "Our ideology, as Mr. Bernstein would call it, is simple. We believe that it is free enterprise -- the freedom to succeed through hard work, risk taking, and innovation -- that has made this country the envy of the world, not regular government intervention."

Watch a video of the segment below:

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