Joe Biden went nearly full Biden at a fundraiser for Democratic Representative Ed Markey tonight, covering everything from gun control to Al Gore to the "two freshman senators" that he just can't fathom anyone is really listening to.
Biden's speech, as written up in the pool report by The Boston Globe's Matthew Viser, referred to the "gigantic chasm" between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress. The vice president then added:
“I’m not talking about the character or even the quality of the minds of the people I’m going to mention. But the last thing in the world we need now is someone who will go down to the United States Senate and support Ted Cruz, support the new senator from Kentucky -- or the old senator from Kentucky. Think about this,” he said. “Have you ever seen a time when two freshman senators are able to cower the bulk of the Republican Party in the Senate? That is not hyperbole.”
Biden circled back to Cruz and — this time by name — Rand Paul while speaking about gun control:
"I called 17 senators out, 9 of whom were Republicans,” he added. “Not one of offered an explanation on the merits of why they couldn’t vote for the background check. But almost to a person, they said, ‘I don’t want to take on Ted Cruz. I don’t want to take on Rand Paul. They’ll be in my district.’
“I actually said, ‘Are you kidding? These are two freshman,’” Biden added. “This is a different, party folks."
Of course, Biden isn't the only more seasoned politician who seems to find Cruz's quick rise to prominence a bit baffling. In May, Republican Senator John McCain wasn't a huge fan of him, either. And Senator Harry Reid referred to Cruz as the "very junior Senator from Texas."
Markey is running to fill John Kerry's Senate seat against Republican Gabriel Gomez. The special election is later in June. On Markey's chances, Biden was obviously optimistic. But he chose a characteristically strange way to phrase his concerns about the demographic challenges facing Markey in the special election, expressing his worries that without Barack Obama on the ticket, the senate hopeful won't "automatically" get turnout from "those legions of African Americans and Latinos."
Al Gore also spoke at the Markey fundraiser, at length about ... Joe Biden. Which might be because apparently Markey couldn't make it to his own fundraiser, due to a scheduling conflict with a live debate against his GOP rival. Gore said of his successor as VP, "when Joe talks sometimes people just have to listen."