Joe Biden Talks About Son's Death on Late Show

'My son was better than me. He was better than me in every way'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 11, 2015 2:26 AM CDT
Joe Biden Opens Up on Late Show
In this image released by CBS, host Stephen Colbert, right, shakes hands with Vice President Joe Biden during a taping of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" yesterday in New York.   (John Paul Filo/CBS via AP)

In an emotional interview on The Late Show, Joe Biden described himself as overwhelmed at times by his son's death and unconvinced he could commit fully to being president. Asked about his 2016 decision by Stephen Colbert, Biden said he'd be lying if he said he knew he was prepared to run following Beau Biden's death in May to brain cancer. He recalled a breakdown of his emotions during a recent visit to a Colorado military base when a well-wisher yelled out the name of his son and referenced his decorated military service in Iraq. "All of a sudden, I lost it," Biden said. He added that while he's optimistic, "sometimes it just overwhelms you" and that he believes nobody has a right to seek the presidency "unless they're willing to give it 110% of who they are."

Biden described conversations he had with Beau in the months before his death at a military hospital. "He said, 'Dad, sit down, I want to talk to you.' He said, 'Dad, I know how much you love me,'" Biden recalled. "Promise me you'll be all right, because no matter what happens, I'm going to be all right." He said his son was better than him "in every way" and he never once heard him complain. Biden said he felt "self-conscious" talking about it and he found the attention "embarrassing" because so many people have suffered similar losses—including Colbert, who lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash as a child. In a lighter moment early in the interview, Biden quipped that he was willing to be vice president if Colbert ran for president, the Los Angeles Times reports. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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