Biden: Dems will take the House

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — House Democrats will win the House in November, swinging the gavel back into the hands of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Vice President Biden predicted Friday.

"Nancy, I think, is not going to be remembered just for being the first woman Speaker," Biden said, "she's going to remembered for being the second woman Speaker."

Addressing House Democrats gathered on the Eastern Shore for their annual retreat, Biden said the combination of GOP obstructionism and a strengthening economy will propel the Democrats back into control of the lower chamber after just two years in the minority.

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"It's becoming absolutely clear the decisions that we made … are actually working," Biden claimed, almost whispering because he said he's battling a cold.

Biden had some kind words for both House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), emphasizing that he liked both leaders on a personal level. But when it comes to legislating, Biden charged, neither man has shown a willingness to compromise in order to get things done on Capitol Hill. Legislative stalemates defined 2011, Biden said, and 2012 is shaping up to be no different.

"I don't see any change yet," he said.

As evidence that Democrats have a fair shot, Biden cited a recent opinion piece in The Hill by former GOP Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), who warned Republicans that their strategy of blocking almost everything the Democrats propose could backfire.

" 'For Democrats to take 25 seats, they will need a wave,' " Biden said, quoting directly from the column. " 'Continued polarization and obstruction could create such a wave.' "

"That wasn't our Tom Davis," Biden added. "That was their Tom Davis."

Adding to the Democrats' election-year odds, Biden said, the ongoing GOP primary has lent voters a clear view of the Republicans' vision for the country. Proposals to cut federal benefit programs and to keep tax rates "low" for wealthy Americans might resound among conservative voters, Biden said, but they won't fly with the middle class.

"They are not trying to hide the ball, they are not trying to pretend," said Biden, a seven-term senator in Delaware before President Obama tapped him as vice president. "They're helping us by saying what they believe."

The vice president said he'd be focusing his campaign energies on six states — Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and his native Pennsylvania — but also extended an offer to help any Democrats who asked for it.

"We cannot succeed unless you all come back," he ended.

Biden made the prediction one day after a confident Obama said he would win reelection in the fall.

—This story was posted at 12:32 p.m. and updated at 1:26 p.m.

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