Former Vice President Joe Biden, while speaking in Washington, D.C. Thursday morning, asked forgiveness from God for liking Republicans.
Biden, who is considered a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, made the remarks while commenting on challenges in Washington and the importance of local political leaders.
"The more dysfunctional this town has become, the more consequential local officials become. Not a joke. It's a reality. It's a reality. All the innovation in America is coming from the governors, the mayors, the county executives. It's coming up. It literally is bubbling up," Biden said.
"It's the reason why we haven't seen much, in my view, and I know — look, I get in trouble. I read in the New York Times today that one of my problems is, if I ever were to run for president, I like Republicans. Okay, well, bless me father for I have sinned," Biden continued, drawing laughter and applause from the audience.
"But, from where I come from, I don't know how you get anything done. The only way to get anything done is if we start talking to one another again," Biden said.
The potential 2020 presidential candidate was speaking at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual winter meeting.
A New York Times article published yesterday claimed a paid speech Biden gave in October in a competitive Michigan House district helped a Republican candidate for Congress. In the speech, Biden praised Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.), calling him "one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with."
The article argues that "the episode underscores [Biden's] potential vulnerabilities in a fight for the Democratic nomination and raises questions about his judgment as a party leader."
A Slate article discussing the speech argued it "illustrates one of his major liabilities in 2020, namely his desire to play the role of the elder statesman who can unify the country by reaching across the aisle."