Laying the groundwork?
Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday took a swipe at Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, saying it’s “naive” to think the country can be governed without working with Republicans.
At a gala honoring former Vice President Walter Mondale, Biden said it’s critical to “end this notion that enemy is the other party.”
“End this notion that it is naive to think we can speak well of the other party and cooperation,” he added. “What is naive is to think it is remotely possible to govern this country unless we can.”
It was Biden’s sharpest critique yet of Clinton’s remark during last week’s debate that she sees the GOP as her “enemy.”
The vice president is considering challenging Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, and he is arguing he would be the candidate best suited to work across the aisle with Republicans if he runs.
Clinton was asked during last week’s Democratic presidential debate which enemy she is most proud of. Clinton listed the National Rifle Association, the Iranians, drug companies and “probably the Republicans.”
“It’s most important that everyone in this room understand the other team is not the enemy,” the vice president said. “If you treat it as the enemy, there is no way you can ever resolve the problems we have.”
Biden has took repeated subtle jabs Clinton for the comment, albeit without mentioning her by name. At a panel discussion with Mondale on Monday morning, Biden emphasized that “I still have a lot of Republican friends.”
“I don’t think my chief enemy is the Republican Party,” he said. “This is a matter of making things work.”
Biden said he’s fond of former Vice President Dick Cheney, a deeply unpopular figure with Democrats, even though he disagrees with how he used his office.
“I actually like Dick Cheney, for real,” Biden said. “I get on with him. I think he’s a decent man.”