BUT NOT BERNIE SANDERS OR ELIZABETH WARREN
In an article that focuses on the views of moderate Republicans in Congress, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she sees presidential candidate Joe Biden as someone who could work across the aisle with Republicans.
“Think about some of the initiatives Biden has worked with, whether it’s Leader McConnell or just worked on a bipartisan basis. The fact that he has legislative, congressional experience and had to work in a legislative body and then worked with President Obama as one within the administration working with a legislative body does give him a level of experience that’s useful,” Murkowski told the newspaper.
Murkowski, who has a knack for bipartisan legislation, was able to rattle off three of Biden’s biggest accomplishments as vice president:
- Working with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to extend expiring tax cuts after the 2010 elections,
- Raising the debt limit in the summer of 2011, and
- Avoiding the the “fiscal cliff” at the end of 2012.
Biden played a key role in recruiting three moderate Republicans –Sen. Susan Collins and then-Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania — to support the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which increased government spending to offset a downturn in the private sector.
Murkowski also said Klobuchar is a Democratic candidate who would likely work effectively with Republicans.
But Murkowski doesn’t hold much hope for working on a bipartisan basis with Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.
“All you need to do is look at their approach to legislating,” she said the two.
“I have worked on a few initiatives with Sen. Warren — I think some of the health care things we’ve done jointly focus on rural health outcomes. But in terms of one who is known for building those bridges with the other side legislatively, neither one of the two of them have in their Senate careers really focused on that,” she said.
Biden is known for his bipartisan relationships. He flew to Alaska in 2010 to speak at the funeral of Sen. Ted Stevens, and during the first Democrat debates this year was the only candidate to actually say the word “bipartisan.”
Sanders and Warren, on the other hand, have taken a hard line against working with the GOP.
Sen. Sanders said there’s “no middle ground” for him on progressive issues.
National Review has a different view of “Uncle Joe,” and his hyper-partisan nature:
“Biden’s career serves as a neat summary for much of the ruthlessness that Americans hate about our government, and he has managed to use his gaffe-prone nature to disguise his record of intense, bitterly partisan politicking. This trick was perhaps never more evident than in his egregious treatment of Reagan Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork — whom he successfully prevented from reaching the Court — and his similar but failed effort to prevent Clarence Thomas’s confirmation. Biden treated these two men disgracefully and in doing so played a crucial role in distorting our judicial-confirmation process so severely that it will likely never recover.
“Serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986, Biden initially promised to vote for Bork’s confirmation but quickly fell in line with Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy, who lied about Bork’s character and described ‘Bork’s America’ as ‘a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions.’ Moreover, Biden leveled a number of deeply unfair accusations at Bork. Among them: ‘It appears to me that you are saying that the government has as much right to control a married couple’s decision about choosing to have a child or not as that government has a right to control the public utility’s right to pollute the air.”’
The next debate for Democrat contenders is Nov. 20 in Atlanta. More details at this link.