Vice President Joe Biden swooped down to South Florida on Thursday for a quick fundraising trip that included stops in Boca Raton and Miami Beach.
Speaking Thursday evening at the Miami Beach home of longtime friend Michael Adler, a South Florida real estate developer, Biden touted his three decades of experience on the political scene as evidence that he and President Barack Obama were prepared to face the major challenges facing the country — including the economy, health care reform and national security.
Biden spent most of his 20-minute speech talking about the economy, calling the Obama administration's actions necessary and effective, but also warning that much remained to be accomplished.
"We're a long way from out of the hole, but the GDP did grow 3.5 percent this quarter," he said.
Biden touched on the housing market, the bank bailouts and the job market, signaling that the worst might have passed.
He defended the administration's bailout of top banks earlier this year, calling it the "most unpopular decision" the administration had to make, but said it staved off an economic depression. He also noted that banks had begun to pay back the bailout funds.
"The good news is it's beginning to work," he said. "The 10 largest banks in the country are -- all but one -- very healthy. They've already paid back $70 billion. We've already made $11 billion on that and we're going to get another $15 billion paid back."
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