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Washington Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says today's leaders should take a lesson from the history books and follow fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt's response to a financial crisis.
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened,'" Barack Obama's running mate recently told the "CBS Evening News."
Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929. There also was no television at the time; TV wasn't introduced to the public until a decade later, at the 1939 World's Fair.
FDR was elected three years later when voters denied Hoover a second term. The Democratic challenger appealed to the "forgotten man" by promising a "new deal" to solve the Depression era.
Democrats usually like to remind the public that a Republican was president during the 1929 stock market crash. During the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry's campaign repeatedly cited Hoover as the last president until George W. Bush to oversee a loss of jobs during his time in office.
Biden was commenting on the stock market crash when he said leaders should explain the current economic crisis and how to solve it to the public.
"Part of what being a leader does is to instill confidence, is to demonstrate what he or she knows what they are talking about and to communicating to people ... this is how we can fix this," Biden said.
Biden's spokesman, David Wade, countered: "I'm proud to say that we Democrats aren't experts at Herbert Hoover depression economics like John McCain and his pals. From Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, we just get elected to clean up the economic mess these Republicans leave behind."