BALTIMORE — Days before the presidential primary season begins with the Iowa caucuses, the Democrats now occupying the West Wing expressed disdain for the conservatism of the candidates jockeying for the Republican ticket.
At the House Democratic retreat in Baltimore on Thursday, Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. dismissed the viability of the Republican presidential candidates, saying that current conservative rhetoric doesn’t “bear much resemblance to reality.”
“We may have been given a gift from the Lord with the presidential race here,” Biden said, getting laughs from the House members.
Biden also made a jab at Donald Trump when he feigned forgetting the Republican frontrunner’s name, calling him “that guy” who’s running a fundraiser for veterans Thursday night. Trump announced Tuesday that he planned to skip Thursday’s debate after his demand that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly be removed from the moderating panel was not met. Instead, Trump will host an Iowa event to raise money for veterans, his campaign said.
Earlier this week President Barack Obama said Republican rhetoric may be moving into “unrecognizable territory” in an story published Monday by Politico. The president contrasted the current GOP candidates with his Republican opponent in 2008, saying Sen. John McCain’s views fell within the bounds of mainstream American politics, while the new crop of Republican candidates’ policies often do not.
“When I ran against John McCain, John McCain and I had real differences, sharp differences, but John McCain didn’t deny climate science,” Obama said in the interview. “John McCain didn’t call for banning Muslims from the United States.”
Biden coached the congressional lawmakers in Baltimore on how to win back the House of Representatives from Republican control during the congressional elections this fall. The way to win is highlighting the ways in which their policies contrast with Republicans, Biden said.
“You guys don’t have to make anything up,” the vice president said. “Just say exactly what they’ve done.”