Today, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are on home turf, though Biden didn’t miss a beat when he graced the top of the CQ Leadership Blog spotlight panel at an event where he was introduced as a “friend of mine.”
Biden spoke publicly for the first time since the Supreme Court decision struck down an Obama-era version of the Affordable Care Act and the leaders of both parties are now firmly on offense.
Biden was optimistic for reform, saying that the high court “clearly made the correct decision that President Trump and the Democrats will have to deal with this.” But even though the Republican majorities in Congress now support Obamacare repeal, Democrats are now seeing Democrats as the party of “dangers,” Biden said.“You start looking at Democrats’ midterm message, you’re now seen as the last red state, there was a strong wave election in 2016, and [that’s] to be expected,” Biden said. “But the Democrats’ midterm messaging coming out of the majority isn’t, ‘Drain the swamp.’ This is [in the] energy of left-wing America, in Wisconsin, Oregon and Virginia, there are people saying, ‘Buckle up.’ But the left-wing America in our Democratic Party, they’re gonna be out there talking obstruction. They’re gonna say we’re gonna have one-world government. They’re gonna have climate change denial. They’re gonna have the welfare of your kids. And the Democratic Party is gonna be a name that gets out a lot.”
The vice president also says the new Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch could galvanize Democrats after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.“He [Gorsuch] hasn’t delivered that now, but tomorrow [Tuesday] we could be hearing from somebody that looks like a Neil Gorsuch tomorrow,” Biden said. “That person [Gorsuch] could be able to galvanize Democrats.”
Even so, the vice president said it’s clear that health care is now the core issue that Democrats must address in a new era.
“It’s not the upper middle class versus the top 1 percent, it’s the middle class versus the middle class. You’re the middle class,” Biden said. “If you’re the middle class, if you’re concerned about your health care, you’re no longer in the middle class.