Politics & Government

Biden calls Republicans 'wildly out of step' during N.C. fundraiser

CHAPEL HILL — Vice President Joe Biden told those attending a Democratic fundraiser Thursday that his party's midterm election prospects would brighten when voters realize the stark differences between the two parties.

Appearing at a high-dollar reception at the historic Carolina Inn, Biden said Democrats had a story to tell voters, a story of how they helped bring a badly wounded economy they inherited back from the cliff, helped clean up the abuses of Wall Street and extended health care insurance.

"Now that the heavy lifting is over, we can go out and make our case," Biden said in a 35-minute speech.

The vice president said Republicans "are wildly out of step" with popular opinion on a broad range of issues from holding oil companies responsible for cleaning up the spill in the Gulf, to supporting basic regulations that would prevent another meltdown on Wall Street, to extending unemployment insurance to those who lose their jobs.

"They say they want to put on the brakes," Biden said. "But what they really want to do is throw us in reverse. As the president said, they drove the car in the ditch."

About 200 people gathered at the Carolina Inn on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, where they paid a minimum of $500 a person to raise money for the Democratic National Committee. They grazed on hors d'oeuvres such as beef tenderloin on crispy wonton, crab crostini, and spinach and local goat cheese profiteroles.

Biden later held a separate fundraising event for Democratic Senate candidate Elaine Marshall, who is challenging Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Marshall said her smaller fundraiser was quickly put together and was limited to 15 people.

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