TIME 2014 Election

Biden Rallies Democrats: ‘There Is No Republican Party’

Vice President Joe Biden listens to remarks at a news conference, Feb. 6, 2014, at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
Vice President Joe Biden listens to remarks at a news conference, Feb. 6, 2014, at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke—AP

Vice president strikes a confident note ahead of midterm elections

Vice President Joe Biden rallied Democrats on Thursday ahead of this year’s midterm elections, telling state party chairs to double down on the issues they stand for.

Speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s annual winter meeting, Biden maintained that Democrats enjoy an advantage on policy, saying a “majority of the American people… agree with us on every issue we are for.”

“I think we should not apologize for a single thing,” Biden said, calling on Democrats to tell voters, “this is who we are. This is who we stand for. This is what we do.”

Republicans, he said, “[are] not for much, and what they’re for they don’t want to talk about.” He admitted to some concern that Republicans could outspend Democrats to devastating results in the midterms.

“What we’re worried about is the Koch brothers and their friends bringing in millions and millions and millions of dollars,” he said. But, he added, “money can’t buy an election when you’re selling a bad set of goods.”

The vice president called for an end to worries about the future of the party, in light of a spate of recent news stories about the DNC’s more modest role and financial troubles. “Give me a break,” he said. “There is no Republican Party.”

Scoffing at the plethora of Republicans who spoke after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last month, Biden said: “The president gives the State of the Union — four responses.”

Biden’s show of confidence came after a less encouraging new poll for Democrats. The survey by the New York Times shows Democrats at troubling parity going into the midterm elections, with a statistical tie between the two parties on the generic congressional ballot, as they fight to hold onto seats occupied by better-known incumbents. The DNC remains $15.9 million in debt following the 2012 presidential campaign.

Biden said he and Obama have an “obligation” to make sure the party has the resources it needs as the midterms approach, and that he is already slotted to help in 120 races around the country. In a nod to the administration’s unpopularity in many parts of the country, Biden said: “I’ll campaign for or against you, whichever helps you most.”

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