Judicial Watch: Air Force Records Reveal $17,025 in Transportation Expenses for VP Biden September 2014 New Hampshire Political Trip on Behalf of Democrat Candidates
Vice President’s three-hour round-trip flight “to boost Democrats heading into election season” cost taxpayers $5,675 an hour
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained records from the Department of the Air Force revealing that Vice President Joe Biden’s September 3, 2014, trip to the Portsmouth, NH, Naval Shipyard, where he campaigned for Democrat Senate and House candidates, cost taxpayers $17,025 in flight expenses alone. Shaheen, who was running for re-election, accompanied Biden onto the stage in a joint appearance New Hampshire Public Radio said was intended: “to boost Democrats heading into election season.”
Judicial Watch obtained the Air Force records in response to a September 19, 2014, Freedom of Information Act request seeking the following:
1) Any and all records concerning mission taskings of Vice President Biden’s September 3, 2014 trip to New Hampshire;
2) Any and all records concerning transportation costs for Vice President Biden’s September 3, 2014 trip to New Hampshire; and
3) Any and all passenger manifests (DD-2131) for Vice President Biden’s September 3, 2014 trip to New Hampshire.
According to the newly released records, the transportation cost of Biden’s visit to New Hampshire totaled $17,025. The cost included three hours of flight time at $5,675 an hour, which does not include Secret Service expenses or costs incurred by local law enforcement in New Hampshire.
Though the Obama administration billed Biden’s New Hampshire appearance as an effort to “celebrate shipyard workers,” media reports from the event painted a picture of a far more political atmosphere. According to London’s Daily Mail:
Joining Biden at the shipyard were Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, along with Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud of Maine. Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Pingree are up for re-election. Michaud is running for governor in Maine.
Biden is a potential 2016 Democratic candidate for president and trips to the shipyard have become a popular stop for those seeking their party’s nomination.
New Hampshire Public Radio reported, “Vice President Joe Biden visited the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Wednesday. His stated reason was to celebrate shipyard workers – but it was clear he was also there to boost Democrats heading into election season.”
And CNN Politics reported, “The vice president, who’s mulling a 2016 presidential bid, made his remarks at the Portsmouth Naval Yard in a speech about the economy. He was accompanied on stage by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat who’s running for re-election this year.” As Judicial Watch has previously reported, campaigns and political parties pay nearly nothing for the political use of Air Force One (or Air Force Two).
“Joe Biden, like the Obamas, mistakes the Air Force for Uber,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The scam of presidents and vice presidents using tax dollars to subsidize candidates running for office must end. Did Senator Shaheen reimburse taxpayers for sending Vice President Biden to campaign for her? Our military has been decimated and is under strain. Mr. Biden might want to consider this when he next considers using Air Force Two for a trip to New Hampshire or Iowa as he runs for the presidency.