- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

MIAMI (AP) - Democrats need to win back the U.S. Senate and end the dysfunction in Congress, Vice President Joe Biden said Monday as he campaigned in South Florida with a Democratic candidate.

Biden and President Barack Obama recently endorsed Patrick Murphy for the Senate seat that Sen. Marco Rubio gave up last year when he embarked on his unsuccessful run for the GOP presidential nomination.

Murphy and Biden stopped at the Jackson Soul Food restaurant near downtown Miami, where Biden praised Murphy as “the real deal” and said the candidate “understands the difference between being authentic and being caustic.”

Biden said he will be campaigning with Democratic Senate candidates across the country because “we’ve got to win back the Senate.”

The vice president said he’s “ashamed” of the partisan bickering in the Senate. “The idea that we are not going to have a hearing for a Supreme Court nominee for 300 days - come on,” he said, referring to the Republicans’ refusal to hold a hearing on a judge Obama recently nominated.

Murphy, 32, is a second-term moderate congressman from a district that includes parts of Palm Beach county and areas to the north. Murphy’s opponent in the primary is liberal Rep. Alan Grayson, 57, who made national headlines when he said the Republican’s idea of a national health care plan was for sick people to “die quickly.”

Republicans seeking the seat are U.S. Reps. Ron Desantis and David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and businessmen Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff. Florida’s primary will be held Aug. 30.

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