Vice President Joe Biden spoke exclusively to CNN's Gloria Borger before election day
The vice president is known to speak candidly and he said that won't be changing
He defended president Obama for being the kind of leader who waits for facts
Joe Biden definitely speaks his mind, sometimes too much. But don’t expect him to change.
“Look what I learned is I’m not changing my brand,” he told CNN in an exclusive interview with Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger. “There’s nothing I’ve said that I haven’t said that was truthful. And so sometimes– you know, everybody says they’re looking for authenticity.”
They want authenticity and not apologies, according to Biden, which he said he hasn’t offered even when his words offend people.
“No, I haven’t apologized,” he said, bringing up one recent example from the world of diplomacy.
“What I have done is where– if there’s been a general– genuine misunderstanding–let’s take the comment, you know– I’m told I– I apologized to (Turkish) President Erdogan,” said Biden. “I never apologized to him. I know him well. I’ve dealt with him. I called him and said, ‘Look, what was reported was not accurate to what I said. Here’s what I said.’” He was referring to comments he made last month at Harvard University talking about U.S. allies Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and how their opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad had extremist elements of jihadists. Biden later called the leaders of the three countries.
In the interview with CNN, conducted on the campaign trail as he was stumping with Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, Biden also took strong exception to the charge President Obama is an incompetent manager.
“I think that rap is so unfair,” he said. “This is a guy who got great credit just a couple years ago for wanting to know the facts. I mean, it’s amazing how we shift. We had– the former president, who was all about instinct. And then we said, no, we want a guy who really wants to know the facts and hear all the information and make an informed decision.”
While the administration has received criticism over its decision making regarding the ebola crisis, dealing with the terror group ISIS or its handling of the economy, Biden called the administration’s policies on those issues “sound.” Both Biden and President Obama, in his limited appearances with candidates this fall, have strongly defended the economic record of the administration in the recovery from the recession as officials privately had hoped more of those running for office this year would highlight that record.
“Look at where we are. The economy’s come back. We’re at, below 6% unemployment. We created 10 million jobs,” he told Borger.
Has the Vice President, who told CNN he has not made a decision about whether to run for the Democratic nomination in 2016, given any thought that this might be his last big campaign?
“Yeah sometimes,” he said. “But you know it is hard to think in those terms. Since I have been a kid I have been doing this stuff. My dad used to have an expression – it is the lucky person who gets up in the morning, puts both feet on the floor, knows what they are about to do, and thinks it still matters. I think this stuff really matters.”