Biden chides Clinton as he bows out of 2016 race

October 21, 2015

WASHINGTON – When Vice President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he would not seek the White House in 2016, he made what appeared to be a thinly veiled criticism of Hillary Clinton, chiding Democrats who view the opposing party as the “enemy.”

U.S. Vice President Biden announces he will not seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination during an appearance in Rose Garden of the White House in Washington

Vice President Joe Biden announces he will not seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination with his wife Jill at his side in the Rose Garden of the White House, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“I don’t believe like some do that it’s naïve to talk to Republicans,” Biden said in the White House Rose Garden. “They’re our opposition, not our enemies.”

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, remarked during her party’s first debate that she was proud to count Republicans among enemies she has made– alongside the National Rifle Association, the big pharmaceutical companies and Iran.

On Tuesday at an event honoring Walter Mondale, Biden drew a similar contrast to Clinton. Politicians should focus on making things work, not on skirmishing with the other party.

“I don’t think my chief enemy is the Republican party,” he said. The comments further stoked speculation that Biden was about to declare his candidacy for the presidency. Pundits saw Biden’s line about partisanship as one he might be road-testing for the campaign trail.

But why take another dig at Clinton if he isn’t joining the running for the party’s nomination?

Jon Cooper, national finance chair at Draft Biden, said that Biden was simply saying what needed to be said, and it’s time for both parties to stop vilifying one another.

“That definitely cuts both ways,” Cooper said. “Both sides need to work harder to find common ground to find ways to work together and not demonize the other side.”

For his part, Jim Manley, a strategist and former aide to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, had no quarrel with Clinton’s words and said they were justified given Republicans’ track record in Congress and in working with President Barack Obama.

“With all due respect, based on my years of watching Republicans in Congress, I have no problem with the comments former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.”

“As far as I’m concerned, they’ve done everything they can do to undermine President Obama.”

Biden, whose 2016 deliberations have fueled months of rampant media and political speculation, said that while he felt the window to launch a campaign had closed, he would not be silent during the nomination process, pledging to spend his remaining time in office working to influence his party and the nomination.

“I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation,” he said.

A few hours after Biden spoke in the Rose Garden, a spokesman for Clinton tweeted that the Democratic frontrunner had called her “old friend” and former Senate colleague Joe Biden. No word on whether they discussed Biden’s views about bipartisan cooperation.

 

2 comments

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Notice Jim Manley’s attitude. If the opposition feels so strongly that they need to take extreme measures, he calls them “enemies.”

In other words, when Republicans feel strongly about something, that’s tantamount to being the enemy.

Even Biden wouldn’t go that far.

Posted by Coreysan | Report as abusive

Hillary view the people of the country as the Enemy from who she and bill attempt to take as much money as possible. Same as Obama…who has enriched the 1% like no one before

Posted by laurel1 | Report as abusive