Although President Obama repeatedly said he had no idea how health care politics would play out, Vice President Joe Biden told a fundraising audience Wednesday the White House would have been doomed without it.
"If we were unable to move the ball on this issue, not only in the political sense might we be dead," Biden said, according to the pool report filed on the event. "But in terms of being able to deal with other major issues on our plate, we would've been done. Absolutely done."
Biden appeared at a $2,500 per-person fund-raiser at the home of mega-developer David S. Cordish in Lutherville, MD., north of Baltimore.
Biden also addressed his F-bomb when he was picked up on an open mic telling President Obama signing health care was "a big F#*king deal."
All Biden said he could think of after learning the comment was audible was "Thank God my mom's not …" The laughter of the crowd drowned out the rest of the comment, according to the pool report.
Biden said Obama told him at Wednesday's presidential briefing: "You know what the best thing about yesterday was? Joe's comment." Obama told Biden he tried to have a T-shirt with his "BFD comment" on it, but couldn't have it ready in time (who knew a president can't get a T-shirt made in one day?)
Biden's reaction to Obama?
"If you thought it was so good, why didn't YOU say it?"
Biden also said "reports of the demise of the Democratic party in November are premature."
He conceded Democrats would lose House and Senate seats in November, but said some of those will be due to natural contraction following unnatural party expansion in the '08 cycle.
"Barack generated such an overwhelming turnout and enthusiasm, that we had the biggest turnout in history," Biden said. "It was gigantic. And a lot of really good Democrats got washed up on shore and all of a sudden were Congressmen, in districts that Democrats have no business having Congressmen. I'm not here to tell you we're gaining seats. But I'm telling you, we're going to go into the second half of our administration, with a solid Democratic majority in the House and the Senate, and with the wind at our backs."
Biden said Republicans keep reminding voters why they elected Obama, driving that reminder home during the health care debate.
"The ace we have in our pocket is the Republican party," Biden said "The Republicans have concluded that their success lies in our failure."
Biden, perhaps playing to the partisan crowd, claimed he knew of at least seven GOP senators who wanted to support Obama on health care but were muzzled by party leaders.
"The American people are smart," Biden said. "They smell a rat. They know there was nothing about trying to get a better bill."
The fund-raising menu included mixed greens salad, fresh grilled vegetables, saffron infused rice, seafood Newberg with jumbo shrimp, fresh lobster, and fresh crab, blueberry crisp with vanilla ice cream.
Cordish's privately held Cordish Co. helped rebuild Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Cordish's firm has also handled development projects in Houston, Charleston, S.C., and partnered with a Florida Seminole Indian tribe to build casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla.