Biden: 'The Republican Tea Party is the alternative'

Vice President Joe Biden said on Monday that the alternative to Democratic control of Congress is the "Republican Tea Party."

The vice president sought to link the official GOP to the Tea Party, the coalition of conservative activists who've boosted a new crop of conservative candidates challenging Democrats this fall.

"Don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative," Biden said of the message Democrats must deliver to voters this fall, according to a pool report.

"The Republican Tea Party is the alternative," Biden said at a fundraiser in Ohio for the state's governor, Ted Strickland (D), who's facing a tough reelection challenge this fall.

Biden's approach linking the GOP and the Tea Party reflects a strategy the White House had been mulling recently, according to a report in The New York Times. The administration pushed back against that report on Monday in a separate report.

The vice president's comments also were meant to deflect attention from the dissatisfaction some voters have felt with the administration (and voiced to President Obama during a town-hall meeting today on CNBC). Democrats from the White House to Congress are looking to cast the election as a choice between their record and that of Republicans.

That messaging, Biden said, would keep the House and Senate in Democratic hands after the November elections.

“Reports of the demise of the Democratic Party are premature," Biden said.