Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday lashed out at Republicans and called the new crop of conservative Senate candidates extremists who represent a sharp break with the party’s traditions.
Campaigning in Nevada for Sen. Harry Reid, running slightly behind "tea party" movement favorite Sharron Angle, Biden sounded what has become one of the Democrats' main tropes in this midterm election cycle: The tea party has pushed the GOP too far to the right.
“If in fact, Harry’s opponent were unique,” Biden said, “You’d say, OK, it doesn’t matter a whole lot.
“It matters a whole lot to the people of Nevada but, It doesn’t matter a whole lot to America,” Biden said. But “guess what? Having one person with such extreme views is not such a big deal, but folks, they are all over the place. This ain’t your father’s Republican Party.”
As majority leader, Reid is a special target of the Republicans for his role is getting the Obama legislative agenda through the Senate in the face of Republican opposition.
"Spouting the same tired rhetoric we've all heard before, Biden ignored the fact that he was standing in a city struggling under the Obama administration and a state with the worst unemployment in the nation," Jarrod Agen, communications director for the Angle campaign, said in a statement.
"Voters fell for Biden's empty promises two years ago, but they won't be fooled again," he said.
Biden is touring the West ahead of President Obama, who arrives in Oregon on Wednesday night for his campaign swing to build up enthusiasm for Democrats running in Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada.
Democrats see the West as the firewall against Republican threats to capture the House and the Senate.