Jill Biden was surprised by a recent newspaper op-ed piece suggesting she stop using the “Dr.” title before her name, she told TV host Stephen Colbert on Thursday evening.
“That was such a surprise,” she said, seated next to her husband, President-elect Joe Biden. “It was really the tone of it … He called me ‘kiddo.’ One of the things that I’m most proud of is my doctorate. I mean, I worked so hard for it.”
Jill Biden has a doctorate in education.
Last week, Joseph Epstein wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Biden should drop the honorific because she is not a medical doctor. Epstein wrote that her use of the title “feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”
Biden received her doctorate from the University of Delaware in 2007, according to her official biography. She is usually addressed in public with the “Dr.” honorific, and official documents typically include it before her name.
CNN’s longtime policy refers only to medical doctors as “Dr.” in its reporting. That’s also the policy of the Associated Press, whose style guide is widely used by news agencies the world over.
Epstein’s article received backlash from some calling it sexist. Others defended it.
Colbert asked the incoming chief executive if the article made him want to stand up for his wife.
“I’ve been suppressing my Irishness for a long time,” he quipped.