Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden told a group of donors on Tuesday that he doesn’t necessarily want to “demonize” people who have made money.
“By the way, you know, remember I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, ‘You know what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people.’ Not a joke,” Mr. Biden said at a fundraiser in New York City, according to a pool report of the event.
“I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money,” he said.
Mr. Biden made his remarks at his third fundraiser of the day, which was held at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side.
Those in attendance included Robert Rubin, who was President Clinton’s treasury secretary, and Stephen Scherr, executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Goldman Sachs Group.
Mr. Biden was introduced by Eric Mindich, the CEO and founder of Eton Park Capital Management.
The presidential contender told the crowd they were all “extremely successful people,” but that neither Wall Street nor the wealthy built America.
Unlike some of his Democratic opponents, Mr. Biden has not eschewed financial support for his campaign from the wealthy and has spent much of his time since entering the race raising money.
At the event, he also recalled his experiences with the late former Sens. James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge, who both opposed desegregation.
“You go down the list of all these guys. Well, guess what? At least there was some civility,” he said. “We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished.”
“But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy,” he said. “Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”