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Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there'

Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there'
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White House hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE doubled down on his vow to cooperate with Republicans should he be elected president, saying he successfully worked across the aisle as vice president.

“There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there,” he said Saturday at a Massachusetts fundraiser. “I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but the truth of the matter is, every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me. Because they know I respect the other team.”

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Biden added that many conservatives are being “intimidated” to follow in lockstep with President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE.

“They’re decent people. They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now,” he told the fundraiser’s attendees.

Similar comments have in the past infuriated progressive activists, who are in search for a candidate who can effectively fight against Trump and the GOP’s agenda and argue that the former vice president is naïve to suggest Republicans on Capitol Hill are interested in bipartisanship.

But, Biden, who leveraged his decades serving in the Senate to help become one of the Obama administration’s chief negotiators on Capitol Hill, has maintained that reaching across the aisle is the only way to implement long-lasting change.

“If you start off with the notion there's nothing you can do, well why don't you all go home then, man? Or let's start a real physical revolution if you're talking about it. Because we have to be able to change what we're doing within our system,” Biden said in June. 

“You have to go out and beat these folks if they don't agree with you, by making your case - and that's what presidents are supposed to do: Persuade the public. Move people as to what's going on.” 

Despite liberal pushback toward his bipartisan strategy, Biden has maintained his leads in most national and statewide primary polls ahead of several other frontrunners, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Broadband companies funded fake net neutrality comments, investigation finds | Twitter rolls out tip feature | Google to adopt 'hybrid work week' Warren: Trump is 'a danger to democracy' Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders on Cheney drama: GOP is an 'anti-democratic cult' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden campaign promises will struggle if Republicans win back Congress Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris's uncle discusses COVID-19 surge in India: 'The conditions are pretty bad' Updating the aging infrastructure in Historically Black Colleges and Universities Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' MORE (D-Calif.), all of whom are seeking to angle their campaigns’ appeal to the Democrats’ progressive flank.

--This report was updated on Aug. 18 at 7:48 a.m.