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Joe Biden opens up about son's death, faith on 'Late Show'

By Marilyn Malara
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Joe Biden opens up about son's death, faith on 'Late Show'
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at an event highlighting the importance of raising the minimum wage at the Javits Center in New York City on Sept. 10, 2015. During an interview with Stephen Colbert on the "Late Show," Biden did not announce he was running for president, but instead joked he'd be Colbert's VP if he ran. Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Vice President Joe Biden broke his silence regarding his son Beau's recent death and how faith and family helps him through it on Thursday night's Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

During an appearance thought to set up Biden's possible presidential campaign, the vice president instead discussed at length his son, who died of brain cancer in May.

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"I was a helluva success [as a parent]," Biden said, because "my son was better than me."

Colbert then petitioned his interviewee to expand on how Catholicism helped comfort him as he mourned his recent loss. "For me, my religion is just an enormous sense of solace," Biden said. "I go to mass and I'm able to be just, alone...[My faith] sort of takes everything about my life...and all the comforting things and all the good things that have happened, have happened around the culture of my religion, and the theology of my religion."

"The faith doesn't always stick with you," Biden admitted before expressing he does not want to come across as overtly pious.

"My mom had an expression," Biden explained when Colbert asked him what encourages him.

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"She'd say, 'As long as you're alive, you have an obligation to strive, and you're not dead until you've seen the face of God.' It really, really has been imbued in me, my siblings, my mother, my grandfather. No one owes you anything. You just need to get up."

The second portion of the interview touched on a more political edge: whether Biden will run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary or not.

"Is there anything you'd like to tell us right now about your plans?" Colbert asked, alluding to a possible presidential campaign announcement.

"Yes," Biden answered. "I think you should run for president again and I'll be your vice president."

"I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and two, they can look at folks out there and say, 'I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this.' And I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there," Biden said. "I'm being completely honest. Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are and I am optimistic, positive of where we're going but I find myself..." he trailed off.

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"Sometimes it overwhelms you."

Beau Biden died in May of brain cancer at the age of 46. First diagnosed in 2013, he underwent successful treatment at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, but the cancer recurred this spring.

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