Biden Fundraising for Democrats at Unofficial Meet-and-Greets

Image: Biden Fundraising for Democrats at Unofficial Meet-and-Greets (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Landov)

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 08:47 AM

By Andrea Billups

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Vice President Joe Biden has conducted a series of closed-door fundraising events for Democratic House candidates that aren't listed on his public schedule, Politico reported.

Biden's office doesn't pay for the events and they are organized by the candidates' campaigns. They include the events on their own Federal Election Commission filings, the political news website said.

Biden's office said the events are low key and not official. Those who show up get their photos taken with Biden but are told in advance that they cannot advertise or post anything to social media.

"The vice president does not deliver remarks. They are 5-10 minute photo lines. We don't put photo lines on our public guidance in any form, whether it's political or official," Biden's office told Politico.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

"The vice president has been tremendously helpful in a number of our districts — whether it's helping candidates raise money, or talking about strengthening the economy for the middle class — and we're grateful for his hard work," said Kelly Ward, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Among the candidates Biden has secretly hosted a photo line for are U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington; New York candidate Domenic Recchia, running against U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, and Sean Eldridge, running against New York Rep. Chris Gibson.

For DelBene, Biden took in a brief event after he had spoken at another fundraiser. In New York, after giving his official speech at a North American Energy Summit sponsored by Goldman Sachs, he pivoted to a hotel event in Lower Manhattan to quietly raise money.

As recently as early July, Biden supported several candidates in Philadelphia, tucking in a campaign event for House candidate Kevin Strouse after he spoke at the Grand Banquet of the 42nd Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Politico said.

While his tenure in the White House has been gaffe-prone, the vice president remains a popular draw as he ponders his options for his own presidential bid, the Chicago Sun-Times said as he visited the Windy City to stump for Gov. Pat Quinn.

"Biden can appeal to the progressive wing of the party at a time progressive populism is growing in influence among Democratic activists," Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times wrote. "Biden is union. Biden is empathetic. Biden is foreign policy ... Biden is keeping the 2016 [presidential] door open. As well he should."

Biden's trip to South Carolina, however, was mocked in a sarcastic statement by the state's Republican Party as he hosted a fundraising trip for Vincent Sheheen, a state senator, as well as other Democrats there. The GOP noted that taxpayers funded Biden's visit.

"We welcome more Washington liberals visiting to support South Carolina Democrats,"  state GOP Chairman Matt Moore said in a statement. "Joe Biden's taxpayer-funded trip to South Carolina, costing $180,000 per hour, highlights just how far Washington liberals will go to install their no-growth, job-killing agenda in our states. South Carolina Democrats like Vincent Sheheen are ready and willing to help them.

"On that note, the South Carolina Republican Party is willing to provide transportation to the fundraiser for any Democrat, including Vincent Sheheen, who is willing to use Joe Biden in a campaign advertisement this fall," the GOP ad statement concluded, adding a phone number for those who needed a ride.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

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