Joe Biden is brimming with confidence.
The vice president sat down for an exclusive interview with Hardball’s Chris Matthews on Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio, where he weighed in on election odds, Mitt Romney’s controversial Jeep ads, Hurricane Sandy and more.
Biden, insisting that he didn’t want to “jinx myself,” nevertheless insisted quite confidently that the electoral cards were falling in President Obama’s favor.
“We’re going to win. I don’t think it will be close in the electoral college,” the vice president said, going on to predict Democratic victories in the key, battleground states of Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada, and New Hampshire adding that his ticket also had a “even chance” in Virginia and Florida.
Biden also played the familiar role of attack dog, seizing on a controversial ad from Team Romney that falsely claims that under President Obama, GM and Chrysler were expanding production in China at the expense of American jobs.
Biden called the notion “flat false,” adding Team Romney was merely “playing on the fears of people” and Ohio workers who “just got back on their feet.”
Biden also reflected on the pain and suffering inflicted by the deadly Hurricane Sandy. The massive government response effort, headed by President Obama, has been widely praised, and Biden offered some insight into his boss’ process.
Biden said Obama “never looked at me and asked about politics…. He cuts through malarkey.” Biden added that while Obama has mastered bureaucracy, with Romney, “you never know where this guy is.”
Biden seemed optimistic that both parties would work together if Obama is re-elected, arguing the “fever will have broken” and lawmakers could focus more on passing legislation than politics.
“There are still some solid Republican conservatives who understand what principled compromise means and are not wrapped up in ideological purity,” said Biden insisting he knew a dozen Republican senators and up to three dozen House members that want to work with the Democrats.
After the election is over, Biden said members will say “’Hey man I no longer have an obligation to stick with the right of the party’…I really believe you’ll see movement. Real movement.”
With less than 48 hours until Election Day, Biden was making a trio of stops in the Buckeye State, including in Lakewood, Freemont and Lancaster. Obama made an appearance in Cincinnati earlier in the day.
Ohio, of course, is shaping up to be the single most important state in the presidential election. No Republican has ever been elected to the White House without taking the state.
Romney also held a rally in Cleveland earlier in the day.
The final pre-election poll from the Columbus Dispatch finds President Obama with a two point lead over Romney in Ohio, 50% to 48%. But that’s within the survey’s 2.2 point margin of error.
Biden finished the interview with a plea to American voters. “If you can, still vote early…But don’t just vote, bring your mom, bring your dad, bring your cousin, knock on the door of your neighbor. Because let me tell you something, the middle class depends on it,” he said.