Former Vice President Joe Biden returned to Capitol Hill Wednesday with a sense of optimism as he addressed the House Democratic caucus, predicting they will retake the House in November and calling on members to refocus on the middle class to get the job done.
Greeted by chants of "Let's go Joe!," as he kicked off his speech, Biden spoke for nearly 30 minutes and said he is dedicating himself to the efforts to retake the chamber for the Democrats. He also attempted to downplay any 2020 chatter for the time being.
"No, no, no," Biden said after one lawmaker in the crowd yelled, "Run Joe Run!" "I'll tell you what, though ... I plan on spending all the time any one of you want me to making sure we win back the House."
Biden, hailed by Rep. Catherine Clark, D-Nev., as a "big effing deal," spoke at length about the opportunity facing Democrats in the fall and how they need to go about reeling in voters who spurned them in 2016.
"We have a real opportunity to take back the House," Biden said, arguing they also have a chance of retaking the Senate after the victory of Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., in December, though adding that it's "more of a climb."
"Sometimes you just feel it and taste it. There's something out there if we don't miss this opportunity," Biden said.
Throughout the speech, Biden used the opportunity to bash President Trump and Republicans for a myriad of reasons, including their decision to use Dreamers and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as "bargaining chips," their sole goal of political survival, rather than making the country more prosperous.
"We have a president consumed by his political survival. It's the beginning, the middle, and the end," Biden said. "Now we have a Republican Party that seems it has it's main goal ... to do anything to protect this president."
"It's our job to remind the American people we're looking out for them," Biden said to applause. "That requires us ... to remain united."
The former vice president also said that he didn't like criticizing the president or his policies, but felt a need after his response to the incident in Charlottesville over the summer.
Throughout his speech, Biden's message remained focused on the middle class, telling stories about individuals in Delaware he converses with who believe the middle class will be gone in only a few years and who fear for their jobs.
"We've got to start hollering more loudly for those folks out there," Biden said.
"Go back and holler — you're going to go win back the House," he added in conclusion.
As for a potential 2020 run, Biden didn't address those possibilities any further, including during a Q&A session with House Democrats.