Biden: Dems should 'run on what we believe'

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Vice President Biden looked to rally Democrats ahead of the 2014 elections, telling lawmakers and political operatives that the party can prevail if they focus on promoting their policy objectives.

"If we run on what we believe, if we run on our value set, which happens to be totally where the American people happen to be ... we will win," Biden told attendees gathered at the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting in Washington. 

Biden said he was "tired of hearing about the demise of the Democratic party."

"Why are we 'in trouble,' as the popular, conventional wisdom is now?" Biden asked.

The vice president went to reel off a series of issues, from immigration reform to gun control to gay marriage, where a majority of Americans agree with the position of the Democratic Party.

"I think we should not apologize for a single thing," Biden said. "We should go out and flatly lay out in each of the races ... this is who we are. This is what we stand for."

Democrats are facing an uphill battle in their quest to pick up House seats and protect their Senate majority in the fall. In the House, Republicans kept their majority in 2012 despite President Obama's reelection — and Democratic House candidates earning more than 1 million more votes nationwide. This year, the president won't be on the top of the ticket to drive voters, and polls show he could be a hindrance in many places. 

In the Senate, Democrats are defending 21 of the 36 seats up this fall, and election watchers widely expect the party to lose seats as they protect a fragile six-seat majority. Democrats in red states like South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana have retired, and Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) are facing tough races.

Some of those vulnerable lawmakers openly criticized the White House — evidence that President Obama's lagging approval rating could be a handicap.

Biden said he and the president had the "obligation" to help those candidate raise money "to help make this viable." He said he had committed to assist 120 races this cycle.

"I'll come campaign for you or against you, whichever will help you the most," Biden quipped.

He also said he and the president "have to narrow, we have to make more clear, we have to define more precisely, what is it what we're about."

He said Democrats were "too shy" about drawing those distinctions, and said Democratic candidates needed to reveal the "masquerade" of Republicans that claim to be conservative but are truly "anti-government."

Biden also dismissed concerns about spending from energized Republican donors, saying that if Democrats — led by the White House — clearly defined a middle class economic agenda, they would still prevail.

"Money can't buy an election where you're selling a bad bill of goods," he said.