(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden knows how to throw himself a party and dish up red meat to liberal Democrats who could be useful to a run for president in 2016. Thursday night at the vice president’s residence, Biden hosted a celebration in honor of his signature legislative achievement, the Violence Against Women Act, which he drafted in the Senate in the early 1990s and Congress reauthorized earlier this year.
While guests nibbled on miniature sirloin burgers, fig and goat cheese California pizza, and one-bite ice cream sandwiches, Biden recounted his long record of helping to combat domestic violence and fight for equal rights for gays and lesbians.
His remarks had the quality of part campaign stump speech, part political pep rally, rousing the crowd of 140 guests -- including leaders of the major national women’s groups, members of Congress and administration officials -- according to the pool reporter on the scene.
Biden blamed a “sort of Neanderthal crowd,” alluding to some House Republicans, for objecting to reauthorization of the law because of new provisions added by Democrats to extend protections to Native American, immigrant and LGBT abuse victims. Those measures were ultimately included.
“I think I understand the Senate better than any man or woman who’s ever served in there, and I think I understand the House,” Biden said. “Did you ever think we’d be fighting over, you know, 17, 18 years later to reauthorize this?”
Biden also made reference to his controversial interview last year on NBC's Meet the Press when he “went off script” and came out in favor of same-sex marriage before President Obama had publicly done the same.
“I make no apologies on the issue of marriage,” Biden said, referring to that episode, which many LGBT advocates credit with helping to nudge Obama along. Biden, of course, did apologize to the president after those remarks and said he regretted preempting his boss.
The vice president heads to the early primary state of Iowa this weekend for the Harkin Steak Fry, an annual political tradition hosted by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. Next week, Biden will visit South Carolina on official business with stops in Savannah and Charleston.
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