Vice President Biden says the latest job numbers show an economy still struggling to recover, but not one where hiring suddenly has stalled, which he says just might if Mitt Romney is elected.
"How is he gonna create jobs?" Biden asked in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "He talks about another $2 trillion in tax cuts for the very wealthy. You're gonna create jobs? Is that how he's gonna do it?"
Friday's report on April unemployment showed a continued slowdown in U.S. hiring. The economy added just 115,000 net jobs. The jobless rate slipped to 8.1 percent, but mostly because large numbers left the workforce.
"It's been steady growth, not enough," Biden said in the interview. "There's still a lot of people in trouble. But there's no stagnation."
Biden said Romney would return to policies that helped precipitate the worst economic recession in decades. He cited deregulation, deep spending cuts for education and health care, and tax cuts for wealthy Americans who "need it like they need another hole in their head."
Biden also scoffed at Romney's campaign mantra that his record as Massachusetts governor and venture capitalist qualify him to engineer an economic turnaround.
"When he was in business, how did he save companies? By piling debt on them," Biden said.
Romney maintains that in his time as top manager at Bain Capital, he helped revive and strengthen scores of major companies, and overall produced stellar results.
Biden also said Sunday that he's "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples who marry getting the same civil rights and liberties as heterosexual couples, a stand that gay rights advocates interpreted as an endorsement of same-sex marriage.
But the White House and President Obama's re-election campaign, eager to avoid a debate on a hot-button social issue in an election year, insisted that Biden was not breaking ranks with Obama, who does not publicly support gay marriage.
Biden said that marriage should be about being loyal to someone you love, whether that marriage is between a man and a woman, two men or two women. "I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties," Biden said in the interview broadcast Sunday.