Joe Biden Cites Work with Thurmond, Helms

Probably not the best examples for calling for bipartisan cooperation


Vice President Biden on Tuesday cited his work passing legislation with the late Sens. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) as evidence that the partisan gridlock in Washington can be overcome.

Speaking at a campaign event in Chesterfield, Va., Biden noted that he worked with Thurmond to pass the Violence Against Women Act and with Helms on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Thurmond and Helms, both deceased, were vocal opponents of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

"And by the way, for those folks who say we can't get on together these days because of political division, I sat next to Strom Thurmond," Biden said, drawing scattered boos from the crowd. "And became friends with Strom Thurmond. Together we passed a crime bill. Together we passed the Violence Against Women Act. Together we extended the Voting Rights Act. So don't tell me you can't work with people and compromise."