Vice President-elect Joe Biden, in his first interview since the election, says the economy is in worse shape than imagined and that turning it around will require a second stimulus package of up to $700 billion.
"The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in," Biden said in an interview scheduled to air Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
"The single most important thing we have to do as a new administration, to have - to be able to have impact on all of the other things we want to do, from foreign policy to domestic policy, is we've got to begin to stem this bleeding here and begin to stop the loss of jobs in the creation of jobs," Biden continued.
Biden said the goal in the short term is to keep the economy from "absolutely tanking," according to excerpts of the interview posted online on Friday. He told Stephanopoulos that he has spoken with Republican and Democratic members of Congress about another stimulus package.
"There is going to be real significant investment," Biden said. "Whether it's $600 billion or more, or $700 billion, the clear notion is, it's a number no one thought about a year ago."
Biden also explains his role in the transition, as well as his plans after taking office, according to teases about the interview on abc.com. He discusses the future of Guantanamo Bay, Vice President Dick Cheney and his discussions with Sen. Hillary Clinton and President Clinton about the State Department nomination.
The interview touched on some of the lighter sides of Biden's time as vice president-elect, too. Biden will be adding another puppy to the German shepherd he recently brought to bring with him to Washington, D.C. next month.
"So I wanted a German shepherd and we're going to get a pound dog, which my wife wants," Biden said, noting that they're hoping for a Golden Retriever.
"Very politically correct," Stephanopoulos added.
No, Biden said - his family always had "pound animals," including a "pound cat."
Biden's selection of the German shepherd puppy a couple of weeks ago from a breeder in Chester County, Penn. drew criticism from animal rights activists, especially following reports a few days later that the breeder was cited for violations.
Biden said his granddaughters have been busily trying to find the perfect name for the puppy, which they plan to reveal to him on Christmas morning.
And he disclosed a Biden talent perhaps not everyone knew the 36-year senator had.
"I've had German Shepherds since I was a kid and I've actually trained them and shown them in the past," Biden said.