Biden: ‘Don’t Listen to These Voices Who Say Compromise Is a Dirty Word’

By | September 25, 2012 | 12:26 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden in Concord, N.H., on Sept. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

( a campaign even in Chesterfield, Va., on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden said Republicans and Democrats should be able to compromise.

“So my point is – don’t listen to these voices who say compromise is a dirty word,” Biden said.

He explained how he was able to work with two Republicans – the late South Carolina U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond and the late Sen. Jesse Helms from North Carolina – to pass legislation.

Biden said he was able to work with Thurmond to pass the Violence Against Women Act and the crime bill, and to extend the Voting Rights Act. Biden also worked with Helms to fund the arrearages of the United Nations, he said.

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“For those folks who say we can’t get on together these days because of political division, I sat next to was Strom Thurmond,” Biden said, followed by boos from the audience. Biden and Thurmond became friends, he added.

“Together, we passed the 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,” Biden said.

When Biden was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he worked with his counterpart, Helms.

“Jesse Helms and I disagreed on almost everything before. No, seriously. But this is important to know about why America has to, we have to come together. What happened was Jesse Helms – in the last part of his career, Jesse Helms worked with me. I worked with him to fund the arrearages of the United Nations. Anybody ever think Jesse Helms would do that?” the vice president asked.

“Jesse Helms worked to help – at the end of his career – to deal with AIDS in Africa. So my point is – don’t listen to these voices who say compromise is a dirty word. There can be no people further apart ideologically than Strom and I were or Jesse and I were, but yet, for the good of the nation, we were able to make compromise,” Biden added.