By Associated Press
Saturday, August 21, 2010; A03
ST. LOUIS -- Vice President Biden predicted Friday that voters would reject a "Republican tea party" of extreme candidates and that Democrats would retain control of Congress in November.
In a pep talk for the party's rank and file, the vice president challenged the widespread notion that significant losses in House races, and perhaps the Senate, could cost the party its comfortable majorities -- a possibility White House press secretary Robert Gibbs suggested last month before saying Democrats will hang onto the House.
"On November 3 . . . there will be in Washington, D.C., a Democratic majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate," Biden said to the Democratic National Committee. And, he said, Democrats will do better than expected in gubernatorial races, too.
"If it weren't illegal, I'd make book on it," Biden quipped.
The vice president said voters' anger and frustration was understandable, given persistently high unemployment and a sluggish recovery. But he also expressed confidence that they would stick with President Obama because "the choice is between Democrats and the Republican tea party. It's between Democrats and the party of repeal and repeat."
"They're offering more of the past but on steroids," Biden said, adding that the GOP was "out of step with where the American people are."
The DNC was holding a two-day meeting to get a status report on preparations for the midterm elections and approve changes to the 2012 presidential primary calendar and nominating convention.
The committee approved changes to the calendar. Democrats will hold the Iowa caucuses Feb. 6, and the New Hampshire primary eight days later, Feb. 14.
The DNC also limited the influence of the independent superdelegates in choosing the party's nominee by reducing their numbers, from 20 percent of the total number of delegates to 15 percent. Superdelegates are the members of Congress, governors and party elders who can back candidates regardless of how their states vote.