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Biden: Virginia Governor's Race "Winnable" for Deeds

Sandhya Somashekhar

Vice President Joe Biden appeared at a fundraiser for R. Creigh Deeds today and simply gushed about the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, whose possibly strained relationship with the White House has been the talk of Virginia politicos of late. He said Deeds could yet win his race against Robert F. McDonnell (R) despite the gloomy poll numbers.

"I hope to God you understand this race is winnable," Biden said toward the end of his remarks. "I was told another good friend of mine running for governor in another state, they declared him dead two weeks ago. He is now ahead. We are going to win that race." He was referring to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D), who is in a tight race with Republican Chris Christie.

Speaking to a group of about 70 Deeds contributors at the elegant, riverside home of a Fairfax County backer, Biden -- who met Deeds once before at a campaign event for the gubernatorial hopeful in Richmond -- said he believed him to be a sincere and trustworthy man. He said he would come out to Virginia to campaign for him again, repeatedly if necessary, before Election Day.

"You know, there's real and there's the other thing. The other thing sometimes wins. Real always wins," Biden said. "When he gives you his hand, you know he's going to do it. That's not a currency in overabundant supply."

Much of Biden's 30-plus-minute speech was devoted to painting Deeds as authentic and sensitive to middle class concerns, and a pragmatist in the tradition of Sen. Mark Warner (D) and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D). But he also had some choice words for Deeds's opponent, Robert F. McDonnell (R), lumping him in with some his least favorite Republicans.

He attacked McDonnell on two fronts: his transportation proposal, which Democrats have said will take money away from education, and what Biden has gathered from news reports is McDonnell's failure to repudiate President Bush's "neoconservative" economic agenda.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the state of Virginia and every other state in America inherited a God-awful situation as a consequence of eight years of absolutely failed, overwhelmingly failed economic and public policy," he said. While there were other contributing factors, he said, "the rapidity with which we declined was completely, thoroughly attributable to a set of economic policies that were born out of -- we don't even use the word anymore -- a neoconservative attitude about how you make an economic policy."

"Unless, as we Catholics say, your opponent's had an epiphany," he told Deeds, "I don't know that I see much -- maybe it's there -- to indicate that he rejects the basic premises underlying what has been the neoconservative notion of economic growth and stimulation."

Deeds spoke for only 10 minutes before Biden, and in his remarks he acknowledged that he is behind in the polls (though he had likely not yet been apprised of today's Washington Post poll results). "These next 26 days -- I appreciate your help so much. But I will tell you that this is not enough. We've got to be committed to driving every single vote out that we can to make sure we get the right results on Nov. 3, because it's all going to come down to who's going to work harder."

Republican spin-meisters weren't buying any of it. In a statement issued just shortly after today's fundraiser, Katie Wright, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, issued this cutting statement: "Despite spending weeks running away from the Obama Administration and its tax-hiking agenda, it appears that if the money is right, Deeds is willing to be an Obama-Biden Democrat...for one day at least. "

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 8, 2009; 4:28 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Joe Biden , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Joe Baby Biden?! As John McEnroe famously said, "You can't be serious!" It's official, Dirty Deeds has hit rock bottom..

Posted by: SMWE357 | October 9, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

As an Independent who is fascinated by foreign policy, Joe Biden has been center stage on my CSPAN for years. Biden tells it as it is, so when he said I THINK THIS IS WINNABLE, that lukewarm endorsement really spells trouble.

Biden thinks he is the best actor but the trouble is his mouth doesn't lie.

Deeds' broken record attack ads and him running away from himself and the real issues is what is causing him to lose independents. It is a little too late to reinvent himself.

Posted by: letsfroggy1 | October 9, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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