Biden: ‘There isn’t a Republican Party’

February 14

CAMBRIDGE, Md. -- Vice President Biden began laying out the Democratic Party's argument for voters in this year's elections Friday morning by suggesting that Republicans remain splintered and would quickly seek to pass fiscal policies rejected in recent years if they retake control of Congress.

"There isn’t a Republican party. I wish there were, I wish there was a Republican party. I wish there was one person we could sit across the table from and make a deal and make the compromise and know when you got up from the table that the deal was done," Biden said in remarks at the House Democratic policy conference being held here.

"There is no -- all you had to do was look at their response to the State of the Union, what were there, three or four? I think we should get a little focused here, let's get a little focused," he added later.

The vice president also heralded the recent passage of bipartisan budget and spending agreements, but warned that Republicans would quickly seek to pass conservative budget and spending proposals rejected in recent years by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"Does anybody in this room think that the Republican Party has walked away from the Ryan budget? Does anybody in this room think that if they are able to take the Senate or increase their numbers or maintain their numbers in the House that that's not what we're going to get back to?" he asked.

With nine months to go until Election Day, Biden sought to pump up Democrats, who are trailing in generic congressional preference polls and face historical trends suggesting they will lose seats in the sixth year of a Democratic president.

He reminded the crowd: "Between now and November, is three political lifetimes."

"Keep your eye on the ball," he added later. "The American people are where we are. And let’s go out and make every single effort not just to defend, but to aggressively push our agenda. They are with us. They are with us. And I’m sure in hell glad that I'm with you."

Biden was introduced to the crowd by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), an assistant minority leader and close friend of Biden's, who joked about the vice president's frequent trips to South Carolina, an early presidential primary state.

"Seems every time I turn around I’m bumping into Joe Biden in the Palmetto State," he said, adding later: "He is vying for favorite son status."

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What are House Democrats talking about at their retreat? Here's the agenda.

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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