A convicted felon won 40 percent of votes in last week's West Virginia Democratic primary because Americans are angry about the state of the economy, Vice President Joe Biden said, blaming it on the recession President Barack Obama "inherited."
"I don't blame people; they're frustrated, they're angry," Biden said in an interview with WTOV-TV in Martin's Ferry, Ohio, when asked what he made of Keith Judd, the inmate serving time at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Texas for extortion and who won four out of 10 primary voters May 8.
"When you're out of work, man, it's a depression," Biden said Thursday. "And a lot of people are still hurting because of this god-awful recession we inherited that cost 8.4 million jobs before we could really get going."
Judd, who is serving a 210-month sentence, received 73,138 votes to Obama's 106,770 in the West Virginia primary.
The vice president added he was still confident Americans would prefer President Barack Obama to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. "At the end of the day, they're going to decide, is the way back to their employment, is the way back to them being able to have a job and raise a family, is it under the value-set and the ideas of Romney, or is it under ours?" Biden said. "And we feel confident we'll do just fine."
Biden sought to identify with many in the state, saying he came from a household where "whenever there's a recession, somebody around my grandpop or my dad's table lost their job – a brother, a sister, a friend, a neighbor."
The state's coal industry has suffered due to Obama's energy policies and the Environmental Protection Agency's handling of mining-related permits. However, Obama has been unpopular in West Virginia since before he became the president. In 2008, he lost the primary to Hillary Clinton by 41 percentage points.