Former Vice President Joe Biden cited his late son Beau as a primary motivator to remain publicly involved and active.
“‘Dad, I’m going to be OK no matter what happens,’” Joseph “Beau” Biden III told his father two months before he died, the former vice president recalled Tuesday in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “‘Promise me, Dad. Promise me, Dad, that you’re going to be OK.’”
The younger Biden died from brain cancer at age 46 in 2015. In Tuesday’s interview, Biden reflected on how he still honors his life, sharing an intimate conversation they had as he neared the end.
“What he meant was that I wasn’t going to walk away from my obligations,” Biden continued. “He wanted to make sure I stayed in the public arena. That’s all I’ve done my whole life.”
Tuesday’s interview comes amid heavy speculation that Biden could seek the White House in 2020. He has notably refused to rule out a run in public comments over the past year.
In the face of tragedy, Biden reflected that having something to look forward to acts as “the way to keep the person and the persons you lost part of you and inside you.” He said he’s “trying like hell to do everything” that “Beau would want me to do.”
Additionally, Biden said he now considers what his son would think when making decisions in a similar way that sons typically do with their fathers.
“Beau was an incredibly decent, honorable man,” Biden said, “and it was always about somebody else. Unless you figure out something that’s more important to you than yourself, I think it’s hard to be really happy.”