Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE said he’s concerned about what would happen if Republicans get "clobbered" in next year’s election, suggesting such an outcome would be harmful to bipartisanship.
"I'm really worried that no party should have too much power," Biden told reporters Friday during his bus tour in Iowa. "You need a countervailing force."
The comments, reported by BuzzFeed News, come as Biden remains one of the sole 2020 candidates to repeatedly tout efforts to work with Republicans.
“There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there,” he said in August 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.”
Such comments have in the past infuriated progressive activists, who are in search of 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.
Biden gained a reputation for bipartisanship during his time in the Obama administration. The former vice president leveraged his decades serving in the Senate to help become a chief negotiator on Capitol Hill and met often with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.), now one of the 2020 primary field’s top targets.