Democratic White House hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden is suggesting that Democrats need to lose some elections because a “countervailing force” in the form of the Republican Party is necessary.
According to a new report from BuzzFeed News, during a campaign stop in Iowa, Biden defended his previous comments about working with Republicans, calling for bipartisanship, and defending GOP lawmakers.
Biden was asked about South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who — despite being a friend of the Biden family — keeps defending President Donald Trump, and going after the former vice president’s son, Hunter. Graham recently requested documents about Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine, after supporting Trump’s calls for an investigation.
But, according to Biden, “Graham has his own political needs and dilemma.”
“And I think he’s going to have to work out for himself just how far he goes and what he thinks,” he said.
The former vice president said that he would be able to “work things out” with Graham if he wins in 2020, acknowledging that nothing would “snap back” in Washington, were he to become president.
Nevertheless, Biden argued, the Republican Party will face “serious consequences” for embracing Trump.
Biden explained that he does not believe Republican voters will suddenly become Democrats, adding however that he tells Republican voters to vote for him if they want, but without changing party affiliation.
“And if you hear people on the rope line saying, ‘I’m a Republican,’ I say, ‘Stay a Republican.’ Vote for me but stay a Republican, because we need a Republican Party.”
Biden, a lifelong Democrat, also said that he is concerned about the Republican Party getting “clobbered” in elections, suggesting that it would be bad for the country if Democrats started winning elections across the board.
“I’m really worried that no party should have too much power,” he said.
“You need a countervailing force,” Biden added.
Biden has made similar statements since entering the primary race, calling for bipartisanship and cooperation between the two parties. In May, the former vice president predicted that Republicans in Congress will have an “epiphany” once Trump is out of office.
The comment was met by intense backlash from journalists and activists, who pointed to Republican obstructionism during the Obama era, arguing that figures such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would do all in their power to obstruct a Democratic president.
Criticizing Biden’s approach to politics, The New Republic argued that his appeals for bipartisanship are “rooted in nostalgia,” pointing out that the GOP is doing all it can to keep Trump in power. The publication also reminded the former vice president that Republicans opposed “virtually everything” proposed by Barack Obama.