(NEW YORK) — Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday that the Republican Party is struggling with an identity crisis, with “no leadership” and “the tail wagging the dog.”
“There is no leadership,” he told donors for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, according to the pool report. “There is nobody you can sit across the table from and shake hands, make a deal with.”
“The problem is we have the tail wagging the dog in the Republican Party,” he added.
Biden led negotiations with Republican leaders in Congress in what resulted in the fiscal cliff deal earlier this year. While he did not cite the specific negotiations, the vice president said that in at least five instances, House Republicans took back an offer they had agreed to, calling Biden to say, “What we agreed to Joe, we can’t do.”
“The reason this is so dysfunctional now — with whom do you make a deal? With whom do you speak to get something done?” he said.
But Biden had kind words for one Republican senator, Rand Paul, calling him “a fine man, he’s a decent man.” When talking about Rep. Paul Ryan, his former opponent in 2012, the vice president got laughs from the crowd, saying “The Ryan budget is absolutely — the Ryan budget.”
The vice president thanked the crowd of 250 people at the DCCC conference for supporting him and other Democratic candidates in recent years.
“When I first ran, you just hoped that I’d turn out the right way,” he joked, adding that “some of you may still not be [convinced].”
And the vice president made light of his now infamous moment where a hot mic caught him calling President Obama’s healthcare plan a “big f***ing deal.”
“Thank God my mom’s not alive – can’t trust those microphones,” he joked.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Manu Raju and Deirdre Walsh, CNN Newswire
Kevin Liptak, CNN Newswire