Vice President Biden on Wednesday said even Ronald Reagan could not have avoided a primary if he were held to today's conservative standards.
Republicans are facing infighting between its right-wing Tea Party wing and more moderate side on several hot-button issues, including the federal budget and immigration reform.
Biden noted even Reagan, who is beloved by the right, would be a victim of their criticism.
He also charged a minority of Republicans in the House with controlling the agenda and preventing the lower chamber from bringing up a vote on immigration reform.
Biden seemed to be alluding to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) — who recently announced a primary against fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) — when he said there is a group of Republicans holding the party to an impossible standard.
Stockman, the freshman Republican, has called for the impeachment of President Obama and has constantly released headline-grabbing statements critical of the administration.
The lawmaker said earlier this week he would primary Cornyn, a conservative Republican by many standards. Stockman had branded Cornyn a “liberal” and faulted him for not going along with Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) tacit to defund ObamaCare, which led to the government shutdown.
Biden said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is worried about his right flank so he will not bring up Senate-passed immigration bill.
The vice president said there is a core group of about 100 conservatives who “just do not want to see immigration. Period.”
“They have not supported more immigration,” he said. “And so right now they are the controlling voice.”
Biden said it is obvious that the Senate immigration reform bill would pass the House, and again urged Boehner to take it up.
“It is really pretty basic…It is just pass the bill, John Boehner, Bring the bill up and let us pass it,” Biden said. “There is a consensus.”
Boehner has ruled out a vote on a comprehensive bill, but he has said immigration reform is not dead yet. He has argued for a piecemeal approach to the issue.