MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The vice president came to the Twin Cities Thursday to highlight how a train station became a neighborhood’s economic engine.
“We’re coming back because we’re better positioned than any country in the world to own the 21st century,” Vice President Joe Biden said.
Joe Biden spoke at the Union Depot near Lowertown in St. Paul Thursday afternoon. He’s visiting cities to celebrate projects that received money from the 2009 federal stimulus. He spoke to WCCO’s Frank Vascellaro about transportation, the upcoming election, and the contentious fight over the next Supreme Court justice.
“One thing you can be sure of, they’ll be extremely qualified,” Biden said of President Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee. “They’ll have an open mind, and they’ll be able to be accepted as a consensus by our Republican friends as well.”
The Vice President told Frank he thinks they’ll be able to find someone that appeals to both parties.
“We already have dysfunction in Washington, we don’t need dysfunction on the Supreme Court,” Biden said. “And if we don’t begin the process now, this won’t happen until — not next January — won’t happen until probably next June. And that is totally unfair to the American people.”
The Vice President came to Union Depot to talk about federal funds being injected into the economy during the recession to revitalize parts of America. The St. Paul train station received $37 million of that money.
“And you need transportation nets,” Biden said. “A lot of these people don’t have cars. This is a way to build a whole community and it’s just one element of that.”
With the 2016 Campaign heating up, Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are discussing what it means to be a progressive. For many years, Biden served in the Senate with a Minnesota politician who proudly bore that label — Paul Wellstone. Frank asked Biden whether he saw the late senator’s qualities in Sanders.
“Yeah, because they feel so fervently about what they believe in,” Biden said. “I worked with Paul. He was on my committee — the Foreign Relations Committee. But you have a lot of great senators up here. My mentor was Hubert Humphrey.”
On the other side of the campaign, Biden says the Republican party has changed quite a bit during his time in politics.
“It’s a different party,” he said. “Ronald Reagan couldn’t make it in this party right now.”
So does the vice president have any regrets about not jumping in the race?
“No, it was the right decision for me and my family, then and now,” he said.