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Gerald Herbert, Associated Press
Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the National Association of Black Journalists at their annual convention in New Orleans, Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

NEW ORLEANS — Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering of black journalists Wednesday that Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney's economic platform shows he is out of touch with the nation's middle-class.

Biden alleged that Romney and his allies want to grow the nation's economy "from the top down" by deregulating Wall Street and cutting taxes for the wealthy. He called Romney "an honorable man" with a "beautiful family" but claimed the former venture capitalist doesn't understand what's happening to "ordinary Americans."

"These guys didn't come from my neighborhood. I mean it," Biden said during his speech Wednesday at the National Association of Black Journalists' annual convention in New Orleans.

The fall election offers voters a stark contrast between the Democratic incumbent and a "new Republican party" led by Romney, Biden said.

"Because this ain't your father's Republican party," he said. "I believe their social policy is a throwback to the '50s. I believe their foreign policy is a relic of the Cold War. And I believe their economic policy is little more than a double-down on the failed policies of the previous administration."

Biden also touted the Obama administration's record on job growth, saying they rescued the auto industry while Romney "preferred to let Detroit go bankrupt."

"He said, though, the market would take care of it, somehow they'd step in. I didn't see anybody stepping in to rescue the market, including Bain Capital," Biden said, referring to the firm Romney once led.

Biden said he and the president believe the economy cannot be truly health until the "profound erosion" of middle-class jobs and income is reversed.

"When the middle class does well, the poor have a shot. There's a little bit of hope, and the wealthy do very well," he said.