Joe Biden is making his bipartisan bona fides a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, boasting recently that he persuaded three Republican senators to support the economic stimulus that helped save the country from catastrophe.
“It was my job to find them. To persuade them to vote for it. And I did,” he said in Philadelphia this weekend.
The only problem: Olympia Snowe is retired, Arlen Specter is dead and Susan Collins will be defeated if Democrats get their way next year.
So when the former vice president talks about the GOP having an “epiphany” and working with him if and when he beats President Donald Trump, lawmakers in both parties are skeptical.
“If anyone can do it, it would be Joe Biden,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “But a lot of those people are gone. States have changed. Washington’s changed.”
The centrist wing of the GOP has been hollowed out not just by retirements and death but by the party’s sharp turn right in recent years.