While talk of who will run to succeed President Obama has been front and center recently, his vice president issued a warning to their party Thursday: Don't overlook the midterms.
"I know everyone wants to talk about 2016. That's lifetimes away," Vice President Joe Biden—a potential presidential candidate himself—told a group of state Democratic chairs at the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting in Washington. "Think what happens … if we do not succeed in 2014. Just think of what is at stake for all that brought us into this process to begin with."
Biden said observers should be more bullish about the Democrats' chances in the November elections. Although control of the House appears unattainable for the party this cycle and Republicans are expanding the Senate map, Biden said Democratic candidates are at an advantage, as long as they clearly lay out what they stand for and do not apologize for it.
"I am so tired of hearing about the demise of the Democratic Party.… Give me a break," Biden said. "I can't think of a time ... where the majority of the American people agreed with us on every major issue we're for."
And Biden is willing to do his part to ensure that message gets out, saying said he has agreed to campaign in more than 120 different races this year. "I'll campaign for or against you, whichever helps you most," he said.
Biden did acknowledge a problem Democrats are already facing in 2014: money. Outside groups such as Americans for Prosperity have already spent tens of millions of dollars on attack ads in key Senate races across the country, far outpacing Democrats.
"So what are we worried about? What we're worried about the Koch brothers and their friends bringing in millions and millions and millions of dollars," Biden said. But he added, "Money can't buy an election when you're selling a bad set of goods."
Biden advised the audience not to focus on 2016 just yet, but he has done little to quell speculation about his own presidential ambitions, giving interviews to major news organizations such as CNN and Time, and appearing on programs such as the Today show and Late Night with Seth Meyers over the past month.
In an appearance on The View on Tuesday, Biden said, "It's as likely I run as I don't run" for the White House, and he said that whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—the likely front-runner on the Democratic side—chooses to enter the race will not affect his own decision.
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