Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday charged Senate Republicans with being beholden to new Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
“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 said during a fundraiser for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is hoping to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s former Senate seat.
Biden said the U.S. “does not need another Republican in the Senate,” according to a White House press pool report.
“I’m being straight about this,” he said. “This is not your father’s Republican Party. It really is a fundamentally different party. There’s never been as much distance, at least since I’ve been alive, distance between where the mainstream of the Republican congressional party is and the Democratic Party is. It’s a chasm. It’s a gigantic chasm.”
Biden continued, “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.”
Biden said when gun control came up for a vote, he called 17 senators, including nine Republicans.
“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,'” Biden said. “I actually said, ‘Are you kidding? These are two freshman.'”
He added, “This is a different party folks. They’re not bad guys, and they’re both very bright guys. And I’m not questioning their motive.”