Joe Biden’s fondest memory of President Obama came during one of his most troubling times as vice president.
In an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger, Biden revealed how Obama offered to help the vice president’s family financially as his son Beau’s health deteriorated.
Biden recalled how worried and emotionally invested Obama became as Beau battled brain cancer.
In late 2014, they feared that Beau Biden might have to resign from his position as Delaware’s attorney general if he started to lose his cognitive abilities. Biden told Obama that without Beau’s salary, he might need to sell his Delaware home to care for his son’s family.
“If Beau resigns, there’s nothing to fall back on,” Biden said. “I said, ‘But I worked it out. Jill and I will sell the house. We’ll be in good shape.’”
According to Biden, Obama stood up immediately and said, “Don’t sell that house. Promise me you won’t sell the house. … I’ll give you the money. Whatever you need, I’ll give you the money. Don’t, Joe. Promise me.”
President Obama is seen in tears while delivering a statement on steps the administration is taking to reduce gun violence. Vice President Joe Biden is at right as Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Jan. 5, 2016. (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters)
Biden said that Obama would be mad at him for sharing the personal moment that took place during one of their lunches together.
“He was the only guy other than my family I confided [with] all along in everything that was going on with Beau, because I felt a responsibility to do that so that he knew where I was — my thinking,” he continued.
Beau served out the remainder of his second term and left office in January 2015. He died of brain cancer that May.
At Beau’s funeral, Obama delivered the eulogy in his honor, describing him as a good man who set an example that makes one want to be a better person.
“I’ll never forget the eulogy he delivered for Beau,” Biden said.
Beau’s death had a profound impact on Biden, and played a key role in his decision not to run for president in 2016. “There is no timeline for the grieving process,” Biden said during his announcement at the White House Rose Garden last fall. “The process doesn’t respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses.”
“As the family and I have worked through the grieving process,” Biden said, “I’ve said all along what I’ve said time and again to others: that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. That it might close. I’ve concluded it has closed.”