Politics

Joe Biden Tells House Democrats To Stay Positive

The elections are “three political lifetimes” away, he said.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — Vice President Joe Biden gave a pep talk to House Democrats on Friday morning, committing to campaigning and fundraising for candidates across the country.

Tieless and in a blazer with a popped collar, Biden reiterated a message that’s been coming from House Democrats over the last several weeks: Stay positive.

“For the first time in my career, on every major issue the American people agree with the Democratic party,” Biden said, citing public opinion polling on education, immigration reform, and pay equity.

Even on issues that are politically difficult for Democrats, particularly the Affordable Care Act, Biden said “55% of the people don’t want to see it repealed.

The vice president said that the November elections were “three political lifetimes” away, which left Democrats plenty of time to “not just defend but aggressively push our agenda.”

Democrats received Biden warmly. When introducing Biden, Rep. James Clyburn called him maybe “the most important vice president in American history.” In a not-so-subtle joke about Biden’s 2016 presidential ambitions, Clyburn quipped that the vice president was spending so much time in his home state South Carolina he was “vying for favorite son of the state.”

Following the speech, Biden held a question-and-answer session with House Democrats where he was asked about the president’s plan for a fast-track trans-pacific partnership agreement, something most House Democrats oppose.

“I know it’s not coming up now,” Biden said, according to a Democratic aide in the room, and also told members the administration would be transparent about its plans.

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