Vice President Joe Biden called on the nation's governors Friday in Nashville to help break partisan gridlock and lead the way in building infrastructure and investing in job training programs.

Speaking to about 30 state leaders gathered for the National Governors Association annual meeting at the Omni Nashville Hotel, Biden said governors typically respect each other personally regardless of who's a Republican and who's a Democrat, unlike politicians in Washington.

"You've got to lead us out of this mess we're in," he said.

The vice president encouraged the governors to push for federal legislation such as the Grow America Act, which would pump $302 billion into highways, bridges, transit and rail systems.

But, subtly pushing back against the harshest critics of his boss, President Barack Obama, he also expressed disdain for those who say America's in terrible shape. His voice rising, Biden said any leader of another nation would gladly trade places.