BALTIMORE, Md. — A fired up Vice President Joe Biden called on U.S. House Democrats to do a better job selling the party’s platform to voters and to be clear about the differences with the Republicans.’
“We shouldn’t apologize for what we’re for, and we should point out what they’re for,” Biden told Democrats at a retreat here Thursday.
He said voters prefer Democrats’ ideas to Republicans’ on issues such as the economy and education. Biden pointed to proposals like universal pre-kindergarten for children and lower interest rates for student loans as examples. But he said Democrats don’t communicate these differences clearly enough.
Biden said House Speaker Paul Ryan’s budget was “a gift” to Democrats because the funding proposal included examples of GOP plans that voters don’t support, such as cuts to the Pell Grant program for low-income college students, and partially privatizing Medicare.
“I don’t know why we don’t just keep pounding at this in our electoral process,” the vice president said.
At one point, Biden raised his voice and criticized tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy, saying Democratic priorities such as free community college could be financed by asking the rich to pay more.
“Why aren’t we talking about these kinds of things?” Biden said, almost shouting.
Biden’s remarks came at a retreat for House Democrats in Maryland’s largest city, where President Barack Obama will speak Thursday evening. The vice president said he’s “bullish” about the party’s chances to take back the majority in the House in November.
Biden touted the country’s economic rebound—lower unemployment, wages creeping up.
“Look where we are relative to the rest of the world,” he said. “What you’ve done has worked.”
Biden, who briefly considered his own campaign for the White House last year, said the GOP campaign, with businessman Donald Trump and conservative Senator Ted Cruz of Texas leading the pack, could give Democrats a chance to show their contrast with the national Republican Party.