John Locher / AP
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 2:23 p.m.
Vice President Joe Biden stumped for Las Vegas Democrats running in highly contested elections during a Democratic rally today at the Henderson Convention Center.
Biden spoke in front of a backdrop emblazoned with the name Erin Bilbray, the Democrat challenging Republican Rep. Joe Heck.
“I want to make it clear: Not all Joes are cut from the same cloth,” Biden said to the crowd after it chanted “Joe must go.”
Biden was friends and colleagues with Bilbray’s father, retired Democratic Rep. James Bilbray.
Polls show that Bilbray has an uphill battle against Heck in the 3rd Congressional District. Biden’s appearance was an attempt to bolster support for the Democratic candidate while hitting on the party’s nationwide talking points for this election cycle: gender equality and immigration. It also highlights Nevada Democrats' efforts to muster support in a non-presidential election where Republicans are expected to turn out to the polls in greater numbers on Nov. 4 and when Democrats lack a serious candidate at the top of the ticket in the governor's race.
Known for his off-the-cuff, unpolished style of political speech, Biden didn’t hesitate to jab himself. “I will come back and campaign for or against her, whichever will help the most,” he said to about 100 Democratic supporters.
He also mentioned the Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate Lucy Flores, who is endorsed by Sen. Harry Reid.
“Harry talks about her constantly. I thought she was his daughter at first.”
Biden punctuated what’s been a weeklong rally among Nevada’s Democrats. Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee chairwoman, spoke Monday at an NAACP event and a "women’s roundtable” discussion with Bilbray and Flores.
“Reports of the demise of the Democratic party are premature,” Biden said, paraphrasing Mark Twain.