Vice President Joe Biden joined former Vice President Al Gore and other high-profile Democrats on Tuesday at a Washington fundraiser for congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Ed Markey (D-Mass.). When he took the microphone, Biden took time to remind Democrats of what could have been in 2000 if the Supreme Court had ruled differently in Bush v. Gore.
“This man was elected president of the United States of America,” Biden said to Gore after joking that he was "lobbying for a job" with him, according to the pool report. “No, no, no. He was elected president of the United States of America. But for the good of the nation, when the bad decision, in my view, was made, he did the right thing for the nation.”
Biden continued: “I’ve served longer than all but 13 members of the United States Senate. I can’t think of very many who would put his country first like that, at a really, really, really difficult time. There’s an awful lot of folks Al and I both know who have run for president and still haven’t gotten over it.”
Biden gave Gore one final compliment before shifting his focus to Markey.
“Al, you set an example for this country that is going to live as long as recorded history, about the man who won by a decision that I think constitutional scholars now and in the future will conclude was an ill-fated decision,” Biden said. “The way you stepped up, it was amazing.”
The Supreme Court's decision has attracted newfound scrutiny more than 12 years after it put George W. Bush in the White House despite his losing the popular vote. Former justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor have both expressed skepticism at the court's decision over the past few months. Gore has meanwhile maintained that he doesn't regret his choice to stand by the rule of law and respect their decision, even though he disagreed with it.
Both Biden and Gore did also get around to praising Markey, who actually wasn't present at the event, due to a scheduling conflict that placed him in Massachusetts for his second debate against Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez.
During his speech, Biden also criticized Republicans for looking to freshman Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for leadership on issues such as gun control.