Joe Biden Uses Firefighters’ Conference to Attack GOP, Praise Big Labor

Washington, DC

Vice President Joe Biden has enjoyed a special relationship with firefighters over the years, especially since he invoked them early and often in his initial political campaigns, according to Roll Call:

Decades ago, a young Democrat running for Senate said that in Delaware, there are really three political parties: “Democrats, Republicans and firefighters.”

And Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been a favorite of career and volunteer firefighters alike ever since, so when he was scheduled to speak Monday to an audience of unionized firefighters from across the nation gathered in Washington, he was playing as close to a home game as he could get outside of Delaware (or Scranton, Pa.).

But it wasn’t really fire fighters he put front and center in his recent address to a group visiting Washington. It was all politics, as usual, all the time. And despite the group also representing non-union volunteers, all Biden wanted to do was fire cheap shots at Republicans also speaking at the event and put his pandering to Big Labor above everything else.

Roll Call‘s coverage of the event reads like it was written by one of Biden’s former high school sweethearts, instead of a journalist.

“Labor is the reason there is a middle class. Ask those guys who have a different view than us, when someone is trapped in a second-story burning building, who’s the guy or woman that runs in and saves that neighbor, your neighbor — it’s you,” Biden said to the crowd, also referring to the actions that firefighters take every day responding to car accidents and other emergencies. “Cut through all the malarkey. That’s who you are.”

And while Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who also addressed the firefighters Monday, both could jump into the 2016 presidential waters, the vice president was clearly trying to get the crowd ready for the Republicans on Tuesday’s schedule, more than liberal independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont or former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.