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Obama, Biden to Dems: Hang in There

<p>The president and vice president told House Democrats Friday to stay optimistic despite what could be a gloomy midterm season. </p>
Image: U.S. President Barack Obama waves before departing the White House in Washington
U.S. President Barack Obama waves before departing the White House in Washington, February 14, 2014. Obama begins a three-day trip to Maryland and California before returning to Washington on Monday. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)Reuters

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have a message for House Democrats: Hang in there.

Addressing the House Democratic Caucus Friday during a retreat in Cambridge, Md., the president and his second-in-command both urged Democrats to focus on their successes despite a looming midterm election cycle unlikely to break their way.

Obama praised House Democrats for their “courage and unity and discipline” in helping to get a clean debt ceiling extension across the finish line earlier this week.

And he was greeted with applause for noting encouraging new Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers, predicting that the law would be viewed as “a monumental achievement” in five to ten years.

Speaking before the president, Biden blamed Washington gridlock on a conflicted Republican Party.

“There isn't a Republican Party,” Biden said. “I wish there were. I wish there was a Republican Party. I wish there was one person you could sit across the table from, make a deal, make a compromise, and know when you got up from that table it was done.”