(CNN) - As President Barack Obama prepares to take his re-election campaign into high gear, his running mate is acknowledging the formidable contest ahead.
Speaking at the Atlantic Ideas Forum Thursday in Washington, Vice Pres. Joe Biden said Republicans posed a real threat to Obama's reelection prospects.
When asked about the Republican Party's strength, Biden said, "It's strong enough to beat both of us."
"Look, no matter what the circumstance, at the end of the day, the American people right now are in real trouble," Biden continued. "An even larger percentage have stagnant wages. And a significant majority of the American people believe that the country is not moving in the right direction. That is never a good place to be going into re-election, whether it's your fault or not your fault. It's almost sometimes irrelevant."
Biden's remarks came the day before new jobs data showed the unemployment rate remaining at 9.1%.
Biden said ultimately voters will look to the Obama administration's record on the economy as they cast votes.
"What I'm counting on - I'm counting on what I read out there, the judgment of the American people to decide - they know the hole we're in; they know how far we've come out; they're dissatisfied how fast we're going; and they're going to have to choose whether or not the path we have set the country on is the path that we should continue to go or we should go back to 'liberating' the economy," Biden said.
As Obama and Biden continue to push Congress to vote on the president's American Jobs Act, the vice president said a fractured GOP was leading to legislative gridlock.
"This is just Joe Biden's impression, but I truly believe if just Eric Cantor, Joe Biden, Barack Obama and John Boehner were allowed to settle the deal in the room we would have had a deal," Biden said.
He said if the GOP were able to unify, a deal could get hammered out.
"We need a Republican Party that's united," Biden said. "We need a Republican Party you can sit down with and say, 'OK, this is a deal. Can you deliver? Can you deliver on the deal?'"