Biden: Obama 'would've been a one-term president' if bin Laden mission had failed

President Obama would have ended up a one-term president if last summer's mission to kill Osama bin Laden had failed, according to Vice President Biden.

Biden, speaking Monday night at a small fundraising event for Obama's reelection campaign, contrasted Obama's leadership during his first term with that of House Republicans during the debt-ceiling crisis last summer.

“This guy’s got a backbone like a ramrod,” Biden said of Obama, according to the White House pool report. He cited the success of the military mission to capture Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last summer as a decisive moment for his presidency.

“He said, ‘Go,’ knowing his presidency was on the line," Biden said of Obama. "Had he failed in that audacious mission, he would’ve been a one-term president.”

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The Obama campaign has highlighted the Navy SEAL mission that resulted in the death of bin Laden as one of the top accomplishments of the president's term. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who hosted the fundraiser at his Georgetown home, summed up Obama's first term using a favorite line of Biden's: “Osama bin Laden is dead. General Motors is alive.”

Footage from the 17-minute Obama campaign film released on Monday featured former President Bill Clinton applauding Obama for making the call to move forward with the mission.

“He took the harder, and the more honorable, path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, ‘I hope that’s the call I would’ve made,’ ” Clinton says in the film.

"It was among the toughest decisions President Obama would make as commander in chief and a victory for our nation," the campaign wrote to supporters on Monday.

Biden drew a contrast between Obama's leadership and that of the Republicans, saying: “There’s nobody in charge.” 

Biden led bipartisan talks on deficit reduction last year until Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) pulled out in June, citing irreconcilable differences over the issue of raising taxes.

“I made three deals" with Republican leaders, Biden claimed at the fundraiser. He said he struck separate deals with Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), but each called back later to say he couldn't keep his end due to party resistance.

“I don’t criticize these guys, because they meant what they said,” Biden said. “But then they went and they couldn’t get it done.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said that Biden's description of a deal with the House Speaker was a "shameless fabrication."

"On what planet did these negotiations take place? That's a shameless fabrication that everyone knows cannot be substantiated," Steel fired back in an email. "The Vice President should explain his wild claim or take it back." 

The vice president's office did not immediately respond.

Biden also criticized Republicans for not having "a sense of the average folks out there.” 

"They don’t know what it means to be middle-class," he said.

The small fundraiser at Kerry's home benefited Obama's reelection campaign through a $10,000 per-couple donation. The 87 guests dined on char-grilled grass-fed New York strip steaks and white truffle mashed potatoes, according to the pool report.

--This post was updated at 10:45 a.m.

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