October 26th, 2010
04:06 PM ET
Sent from New York City
Vice President Biden spoke Tuesday in a wood-paneled second-floor bar at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South at a fundraiser for Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY-01). He began his remarks at 1:42 p.m. and spoke for 20 minutes.
Wearing a blue suit and a bluer tie, Biden reminded the 70 people who paid a minimum of $1,000 to hear the Vice President’s remarks and eat a menu of cold-cut sandwiches, salad and coffee that the nation’s economic malaise is the fault of the Bush Administration and is improving under Democratic stewardship.
The Vice President did not mention Bishop’s Republican opponent, businessman Randy Altschuler, by name, but predicted the federal government will grind to a halt if the House or Senate fall under GOP control. He predicted Democrats would “keep the Senate and win the House.”
“This is a real important election,” he said. “It’s more important than the one that got Barack and me elected, it literally is. Because there at least we would have continued to drift another four years, which would be bad. Now at least we’ve stopped the drift and are starting to head in the right direction. If we lose in the House or the Senate, we’re now in a position where we are in a stalemate and this thing is just going to go in reverse and our most powerful weapon will be a veto pen, and that’s bad.”
The Vice President, who stood next to Bishop and grasped the four-term Democrat’s shoulder at several points during his remarks, waded into the audience as he discussed the nation’s need to compete with education and infrastructure investments made by nations like China and India, and Republican opposition to such spending.
“Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive,” he said. “In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States. … No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years.”
Bishop, who represents the East End of Long Island, touted Biden as “an adopted son of Southampton” – Bishop’s hometown – who spent time this summer at a home to which Bishop, as a teenager, delivered groceries.
The Vice President replied: “When I die, I want to be reborn in Southampton. … You’re the only Democrat I know in Southampton, well, that’s not quite true.”