Biden urges Democrats to run on issues, not obsess about ‘super PACs’
WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden urged fellow Democrats to stop obsessing about the role that well-funded outside groups are expected to play in the midterm election, saying it will be enough for their party to lay out an affirmative case on the issues.
Biden, in a speech to state Democratic Party leaders Thursday, said he had never seen public sentiments align with Democrats’ positions on major issues - raising the minimum wage, immigration reform and marriage equality - as they do today.
“If we run on what we believe, if we run on our values -- which happens to be totally consistent with where the American people think we should be on the substantive set of issues -- we will win,” Biden argued. “Let’s not get too hung up on the idea about what the ‘super PACs’ [will do].”
Nevertheless, Biden told those attending the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting that the party should “pay attention” to what those groups are doing.
“But guys, I’m still one of these guys who believes money can’t buy an election when you’re selling a bad set of goods,” he said, arguing that there actually is “no Republican Party” today due to GOP internal divisions.
The vice president’s comments came a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) spoke out in harsh terms about what he said was an attempt by brothers Charles and David Koch to “buy” this year’s election. Responding to a new wave of television ads from groups funded in part by the billionaire Republican donors, Reid called the brothers “un-American.”
Democratic candidates in congressional races are also regularly sending e-mail solicitations to supporters warning of the role outside political groups are playing.
As the party seeks to hold on to its Senate majority and narrow the Republican advantage in the House, Biden recommended that Democrats “not apologize for a single thing.”
“We should go out and we should flatly lay out in each of the races … this is who we are. This is what we stand for. This is what we’re going to do,” he said. Republicans “don’t want to talk about the things that we’re for, and we are too shy. We are not talking about it enough in my opinion.”
Biden said he would be an active participant in the fall campaign by helping the DNC and state parties raise money and by holding events for more than 120 candidates.
And amid speculation he may run for president in 2016, Biden said it was critical to focus on 2014.
“Think what happens if we do not succeed,” he said. “We’re finally in a place where we have a chance to make some gigantic progress for the American people.”
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get the day's top news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.