Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday may have discovered how to counter the blistering rhetoric coming from Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump: optimism.
Speaking at a reception marking Hispanic Heritage Month, Biden called out the real estate mogul for his “xenophobia” and “sick message” on immigration.
“There’s one guy absolutely denigrating an entire group of people, appealing to the baser side of human nature, working on this notion of xenophobia in a way that hasn’t occurred in a long time,” the vice president said during the event, which was held at his Washington residence.
He predicted Trump’s message would ultimately fail to resonate with most of the country.
“Folks, the American people are with us. I know it doesn't feel that way, but I'm telling you, I'm telling you the American people agree with us,” Biden said.
He added later: “This will pass: Trump, and that stuff that you’re hearing on the other team.”
Biden’s sympathetic message will likely stand in contrast to the type of attention grabbing one-liners expected at Wednesday night’s Republican debate, where at least some of the ten other White House hopefuls are expected to try to take down Trump.
The billionaire has lead the GOP field on immigration, boasting he would get Mexico to pay to build a wall along the southern border, end birthright citizenship and carry out mass deportation for the illegal immigrants already in the country.
His hardline stance has forced the rest of the contenders to play catch-up, with most saying they agree with Trump’s positions.
Besides taking on Trump, Biden signaled the kind of optimism his might bring to the 2016 campaign, should he decide to jump into the race.
He told a story about how Chinese President Xi Jinping once asked him to define America in one word, and he replied, “Possibilities.”
“What America’s all about is possibilities. And whenever you give anyone in this country, regardless of where they come from, they struggled to get here or born here, they are for looking for a simple proposition – what are my possibilities? If I work I can do anything. Anything at all,” Biden told the audience.
He said that “given a chance, there is not a single person fighting to get here, particularly Latinos and Hispanics, who aren’t capable of taking advantage of the possibilities here.”
After comments like that, it’s hard not to imagine bumper stickers with Biden’s name and the word “possibilities” popping up all over the country.
But the vice president is still weighing whether or not to enter the race following the death of his son Beau to brain cancer.
At the end of his fiery remarks, the small crowd chanted, "run, Joe, run!"
Biden replied, "No, no, no, no."
Then he made the sign of the cross, said "Bless me Father," offered a “thank you” and walked away from the podium.