Biden Scolds Democrats like Clinton, Strickland for Calling Republicans ‘Enemies’

“It’s mean-spirited, it’s petty”

Joe Biden
Joe Biden / AP
October 21, 2015

Joe Biden jabbed at Democrats who regard Republicans as their "enemies" during remarks from the White House Wednesday.

After announcing that he would not run for president in 2016, the vice president tore into Democrats who have contributed to the "partisan politics that is ripping this country apart." Both Hillary Clinton and Ted Strickland, a Democratic candidate for Senate in Ohio, have recently cast Republicans as their "enemies."

"It’s mean-spirited, it’s petty, and it’s gone on for much too long," Biden said from the Rose Garden Wednesday. "I don’t believe, like some do, that it’s naïve to talk to Republicans. I don’t think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition, not our enemies."

Biden’s remarks came just days after Strickland, a former governor of Ohio, described incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R.) as the "enemy" of himself and his fellow Democrats.

"I am running for this office and I am running against Rob Portman. He is our enemy," Strickland said Monday evening at a Democratic Party event in Cincinnati.

Less than a week before, Hillary Clinton said during the first Democratic primary debate that Republicans were some of the "enemies" she is most proud of making.

"For the sake of the country, we have to work together," Biden continued Wednesday afternoon. "As the president has said many times, compromise is not a dirty word, but look at it this way folks: How does this country function without consensus? How can we move forward without being able to arrive at consensus? Four more years of this kind of pitched battle may be more than this country can take. We have to change it."

He echoed remarks he made the evening before at a gala in Washington, D.C.

"The other team is not the enemy," Biden said Tuesday night. "If you treat it as the enemy there is no way we can ever solve the problems we have to."