Though he claimed Republicans are scared of freshmen U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, it sure sounded as if Vice President Joe Biden has some fear of them as well.
Biden spoke Tuesday evening at a Massachusetts fundraiser for Democrat Edward J. Markey who is running in a special election to fill former Sen. John Kerry’s seat.
He blamed Cruz and Paul for “sinking a bipartisan background check bill and, more generally, for stoking a fear of ideological primaries that has gridlocked Congress,” CQ Roll Call reported.
Begging Democratic donors in attendance to write big checks for Markey, Biden implied Markey has the fortitude to stand up to the powerful and scary Cruz and Paul.
According to CQ Roll Call:
“I’m not talking about the character or even the quality of the minds of the people I’m going to mention. But the last thing in the world we need now is someone who will go down to the United States Senate and support Ted Cruz, support the new senator from Kentucky — or the old senator from Kentucky,” Biden said, according to a pool report of the event.
“Have you ever seen a time when two freshman senators are able to cower the bulk of the Republican Party in the Senate? That is not hyperbole,” Biden continued. “On the gun issue, I don’t care what your position is — I called 17 senators out, nine of whom were Republicans. Not one of (them) offered an explanation on the merits of why they couldn’t vote for the background check. But almost to a person, they said, ‘I don’t want to take on Ted Cruz. I don’t want to take on Rand Paul. They’ll be in my district.’
“I actually said, ‘Are you kidding? These are two freshman,’” Biden added. “This is a different party folks. They’re not bad guys, and they’re both very bright guys. And I’m not questioning their motive.”
Biden then recalled for the crowd the Democrats’ horror when Mass. Republican Scott Brown won his special election back in 2010.
Reminding donors that President Obama can’t carry this election for Markey with minority voters since he isn’t on the ticket, he urged Markey’s need for money, money, money:
Barack Obama’s not at the head of the ticket. And that means those legions of African-Americans and Latinos are not automatically going to come out. No one has energized them like Barack Obama. But he’s not on the ticket. So don’t take this one for granted.”
“This is an off-year, off-cycle, off-month election. He needs every solitary bit of financial help you can give to carry this home,” Biden said. “Please, don’t be asking yourself two months from now, ‘God why didn’t I do more?’”
Who sounds afraid here, Biden? Spooked about 2016, too?