TIME Infrastructure

Joe Biden Says NYC Airport Like ‘Some 3rd-World Country’

Vice President takes a jab at New York City's second-largest airport while making the case for infrastructure investment

Never one who can be accused of failing to speak his mind, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday compared LaGuardia Airport in New York to “some third-world country.”

During a speech about infrastructure at a Philadelphia train station, Biden said the United States led the world economically for decades because of superior infrastructure but that other countries have leapfrogged the U.S. with major investments while domestic infrastructure has decayed.

Biden said that if one blindfolded a person and took them to Hong Kong’s airport and asked where they were, they would reply: “This must be America, it’s a modern airport.” On the other hand, he said, “if I took you and blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York you must think, ‘I must be in some third world country.'”

LaGuardia, the smaller of New York City’s two major airports, has four terminals and several aging buildings that have not been upgraded in decades. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates LaGuardia, is currently investing $3.6 billion to overhaul the airport.

See Biden’s comments below:

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser