Former Vice President Joe Biden was back on Capitol Hill meeting with Democrats on Wednesday ahead of the midterm elections, attempting to bridge a divide in his party between progressives and blue-collar voters.
Biden, repeating an argument he’s been making of late, said there should be “no reason for any conflict” between the two wings of the party. “There’s no distinction in the Democratic Party between our social agenda and our agenda in terms of the economy,” he told reporters.
Biden met with the “Blue Collar Caucus” for close to an hour. While House members said there was no discussion of the former vice president as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, some members asked him to campaign for them on the 2018 trail.
“One-hundred percent of any of the campaign questions were focused on 2018,” Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat, told reporters after the session.
The group was founded after the 2016 election when Boyle and Democratic Rep. Marc Veasey of Texas grew concerned that some in their party were willing to write off the working-class vote.
The former vice president’s visit comes two weeks after he stumped for Democrat Conor Lamb in the House special election in western Pennsylvania — a district that Donald Trump won by 20 points in 2016. Lamb is poised to win the race in an upset victory, further fueling Democratic hopes of a blue wave in November, especially in red-leaning districts. (The election happened last week, but Republican candidate Rick Saccone has not yet conceded, and Republicans are looking at challenging the results.)
Boyle warned that failing to reach out to blue-collar workers “would be a terrible mistake.” He added that “a majority is built upon having a broader based coalition, that we can win these voters back, just like they voted for Barack Obama twice in my state of Pennsylvania and in a number of other states and I think from November 2016 to now fortunately we’ve had a couple of successes to point to to kind of prove that.”
Lamb also visited Washington on Wednesday, and talked to House Democrats about his campaign’s message. “He was the rock star of the hour, ” Veasey said.
Biden previously came to the Hill in February to speak with House Democrats about unifying the party and delivered a blistering speech criticizing President Donald Trump.