By Geneva Sands - 05/17/12 06:34 PM EDT
Pawlenty, the co-chairman of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, was responding to Biden's comments Wednesday that the GOP doesn't "get who we are."
"I think we get Joe Biden and Barrack Obama very well. Vice President Biden hasn't been in the private sector since Gerald Ford was president. He's spent his entire life adult life in government," Pawlenty, a possible running mate for Romney, said on MSNBC's "Andrew Mitchell Reports."
"This is going to be a debate about the economy and to look to Joe Biden for that, somebody who's never not been in government, basically a professional bureaucrat — give me a break. I come from a blue collar background. I understand what jobs mean and Joe Biden doesn't have a clue," he said.
When pressed on whether Biden was a bureaucrat, Pawlenty admitted that his word choice may have been semantically incorrect, but maintained that his argument still stood.
"For Joe Biden, who's been, again in government as an elected official since Gerald Ford was president, to stand up and lecture Mitt Romney or anybody else on whether they get it or not, is laughable … the guy hasn't seen the private sector, private investment or job growth in any meaningful or direct way in forty years," said Pawlenty.
The Romney surrogate argued that creating jobs and spurring business investment will take someone with private sector experience, like his chosen candidate.
Romney's business experience, a center piece of his campaign, is an issue Obama's team is trying to portray as a liability instead, attempting to paint Romney as an unsympathetic, out-of-touch corporate executive during his time at Bain Capital.
Earlier this week the Obama team launched a new ad accusing Romney of engaging in "questionable business practices" and of personally profiting by closing American businesses.
Pawlenty defended the private-equity firm, saying the attacks are unfounded and accused the president and vice president of not understanding or respecting the private sector.