Former Vice President Joe Biden said that he predicts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may become “mildly cooperative” in a post-Trump era.
“I’m not suggesting all of a sudden everyone’s going to project a new sense of courage and political courage,” Biden said at a campaign event in New York. “What I’m suggesting [is] that the dynamic changes when the right vote, as opposed to the vote you don’t agree with, becomes a possibility if you vote for it.”
Biden has gotten in hot water with progressives before for his optimistic vision of a bipartisan future, though he tried to give his perspective more nuance in the most recent Democratic debate.
He said then that he has “no love” for Republicans at the moment, especially because of how they’ve treated his son, Hunter, during the impeachment inquiry, but that he refuses to accept that we can never reach a place of “cooperation.”
He previously predicted that Republicans would have an “epiphany” when Trump leaves office.
Though many respond to Biden’s rosy visions with angry reminders about outright Republican obstructionism under President Barack Obama — especially McConnell’s refusal to let Obama name Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court — the Biden camp clearly sees bipartisan appeal as part of his edge. Biden also recently floated choosing a Republican for his vice president: a highly unlikely move, but one that establishes him as the cooperation candidate.
In a crowded primary field, Biden has cut his path as the potential President who will bring the fractured country together again. Biden is clearly taking the gamble that even if he angers some on the left, statements like these are worth it to attract voters of a more independent or even right-leaning constitution.