Fw: VPOTUS pool report 2

From: Fitch, Asa
Sent: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 12:49 PM
To: Goodman, Meghan K. EOP/OVP
Subject: VPOTUS pool report 2

Following his bilateral meeting with Dubai's ruler, Mr. Biden traveled to Emirates Towers, where he addressed a group of young entrepreneurs. His speech began at 12:53 and lasted until just after 2 p.m. Mr. Biden's voice sounded gravelly and somewhat faint; he had what he described as a "head cold."

Mr. Biden began by thanking his hosts in the UAE and calling the country's rapid growth "breathtaking." He said the U.S. and UAE were on the same page.

"The U.S. abd UAE are moving lockstep on a whole range of issues not only vital to the region but vital to the world," he said.

The UAE is part of a U.S.-led military coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and is a key ally in the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Biden discussed the potential for innovation in the delivery of government services, something he said the UAE was ahead of the curve on. He described a rapidly changing technological world that presented both challenges and opportunities for young business leaders. He talked about the need for investment in education to unlock these opportunities.

One of the main challenges identified by the International Monetary Fund and Standard & Poor's, he said, was the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few.

"People get bigger pieces of the pie, but the pie doesn't get bigger," he said.

During a brief questions period, Mr. Biden turned to the state of American politics, saying unpopular but necessary decisions to rescue faltering banks during the financial crisis had led to a growing sense of anger.

"We are reaping the downside of what has become a nasty political environment," he said.

A political shift among conservatives toward the extreme right--in part caused, he said, by the redrawing of congressional districts--is becoming evident in the current election cycle. This, he said, has squeezed out the mainstream conservative ideology.

"If Ronald Reagan were alive today seeking nomination, he could no more get the nomination of the Republican party than I could get the nomination," he said.

He said American politics had become "petty and venal," but that Americans would demand a change.

After finishing his remarks, Mr. Biden left for the airport. He is scheduled to visit leaders in Jordan and Israel on he next leg of his trip.

Asa Fitch
The Wall Street Journal
+971 55 109 3342

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