Biden to Dems: Be proud!

Vice President Joe Biden gestures while speaking to members of the House Democratic Caucus in Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

C'MON YOU GUYS, let's turn those frowns upside down!

OK, so maybe Vice President Joe Biden didn't bust out preschool encouragements like that one yesterday while addressing the House Democratic caucus at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel.

But he did urge the crowd of congressmen and women to stop lamenting their losses in the November midterm election, and focus instead on telling voters a happy story about a little place called America.

Biden said the country was on the brink of entering another Great Depression when he and President Obama took office in 2009: Nearly a million people had lost their jobs, and banks and the automotive industry were about to topple.

But thanks to initially unpopular efforts that were heavy on bureaucratic mumbo jumbo - a stimulus package here, an auto bailout there - "We've moved from disaster to recovery to resurgence," Biden said.

The problem, Biden said, is that most voters don't have the time for "the details of politics," and might not be aware that Democratic policies have been responsible for improving the country's economic health.

He warned that Republicans would try to take control of the narrative and convince voters that they were responsible for the recovery - unless congressional Democrats start talking up their successes.

"Let's not make any apologies for what we did," Biden said. "Explain why what we did worked, in order to make the case that what we're proposing now can even take us further."

"I thought Biden's speech was one of the best defenses of Democratic policies that I have heard in a long time," said U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, who represents parts of Northeast Philly and Montgomery County.

"Whether it was the unemployment rate, health-care costs, auto bailout, or overall economic growth, the evidence he cited is overwhelming that Democrats were right and Republicans were wrong."

Biden's remarks were quickly lampooned by the Republican party.

"Vice President Joe Biden's advice to House Democrats makes you wonder if he now works for Republicans," Katie Martin Prill, the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in an email.

"Democrats learned the hard way this past November that President Obama's policies are toxic and yet they want to double down on their support. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this idea is worse than the GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial."

 


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