“If we don’t stop the march of the Tea Party now, those majority Republicans in the House and Senate who know better are never going to have the courage to stand up and vote the right way,” he said.

Campaigning in one of the nation’s key U.S. Senate contests, Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that keeping Democratic control of the chamber would “break the back of the hard right” and ease gridlock in Washington.

Biden said next week’s choice between Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst for the open Senate seat in Iowa was critical to the outcome. If Braley wins and the Democrats maintain their majority, he said, the Republicans in Congress will be open to compromising with Democrats on issues such as raising the federal minimum wage.

“If that happens and it will, what’s going to happen is it’s going to break the back of the hard right,” he said. “You are going to see many reasonable people in the Republican Party start to vote reasonably again. Not exactly like we do. But they are going to be open to the kind of compromise that’s always allowed this nation to move forward.”

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