CNN town hall with Joe Biden

By Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 10:48 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019
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10:31 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

Biden wants to bring back veterans who were deported

Asked how he planned to help veterans who were deported to their native country, former Vice President Joe Biden said he would, "Bring them back."

"It's outrageous. It's outrageous what they did. Outrageous what the President did," he said.

Biden said he and his wife swore in 120 soldiers and sailors and "none of whom were American citizens, all who had volunteered from silver stars to bronze stars to Purple Hearts."

"And you should have seen the looks in their faces as each one of them came up," he said.

Biden continued: "That's why we're who we are, the country we are. We are a country of immigrants, and they serve, and they should be treated the same way."

Watch the moment:

10:36 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

Biden: Warren’s attitude is "we know best, you do it my way"

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Joe Biden defended characterizing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as angry and elitist, saying Monday that he was responding after “she attacked me.”

He was referring to Warren jabbing at him for his opposition to “Medicare for All,” suggesting without naming the former vice president that he is running in the wrong party’s presidential primary. Biden has escalated his criticism of Warren over that comment in recent days.

Biden said what he’s been calling elitist was “the attitude that we know better than ordinary people what’s in their interests. ‘I know more than you, let me tell you what to do.’” In a Medium post, Biden wrote that Warren, without naming her, was “condescending” and “representative of an elitism that working and middle class people do not share.”

“The attitude is elitist that people can’t make up their own mind. You like your health insurance,” Biden said.

He then began to mimic "Medicare for All" advocates: “‘But you shouldn’t like your health insurance, you should have to give that up. I’m going to demand you not have that. We’re going to give you something better.’”

“It’s not about her, it’s about the attitude out there -- the attitude that we know best, you do it my way."

He added: “I resent that. And I wasn’t talking about her, I was talking about the attitude that if you don’t agree with me, get in the other party.”

Watch the moment:

10:40 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

Biden: "It gives me some sense of purpose when I'm able to be of some help" to those who are grieving

Edward M. PioRoda/CNN
Edward M. PioRoda/CNN

Joe Biden, former vice president and Democratic presidential hopeful, opened up Monday night about the deep losses he has suffered.

Biden's wife and infant daughter died in a car crash in 1972 and his sons were injured. His son, Beau, died to brain cancer four years ago.

Asked what it meant to have people take comfort in sharing some of deep personal tragedies with him, Biden said, "Well, you know, I have -- a lot of people have suffered more than I have as loss, and I have been really -- sounds bizarre to say -- lucky in the sense that I had an incredible family."

He went on to explain how his family stepped up to help him raise his children:

"When you're the recipient of someone's understanding and empathy, you understand how it can help and it's just impossible, although sometimes it's hard to not share it with others. When people come up to me often, as you've observed is they come up and they'll walk up to me and all of a sudden a man or woman will just grab me and hug me and say I just lost my son, lost my daughter, tell me, am I going to be OK, am I going to be OK?"

Biden said the best way to overcome tragedy is to find purpose in life.

"Purpose. And a purpose is best utilized if it relates to something that related to what the person you lost cared about," he said.

He continued: "There will come a time if anybody of you are going through it where the thought of the person you lost will bring a smile to your lip before it brings a tear to your eye. That's when you know you're going to be able to make it. That's when you know. But it's hard. It's hard. It gives me some -- it gives me some sense of purpose when I'm able to be of some help."

See the latest:

9:47 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

Biden: Republicans will be willing to work with Democrats if Trump loses in 2020

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Former Vice President Joe Biden repeated his belief that Republicans will be more willing to work with Democrats if President Donald Trump loses the 2020 election.

But he also offered a contradictory example -- one that showed, as Biden’s Democratic rivals have frequently pointed out, that GOP lawmakers refused to cooperate with Democrats well before Trump became the party’s standard-bearer.

Biden pointed to former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court in March 2016. Senate Republicans refused to give Garland a hearing.

“I called 12 Republicans and said, ‘What are you doing?’ Biden said. “I said, ‘You realize what you’re doing to the Constitution?’ They said, ‘We know, Joe, but here’s the deal: Joe, I’m in a state where if in fact the Koch brothers drop in $10, $12 million, I will lose the primary.’”

Garland was nominated in March 2016 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by former Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Trump was elected later that year.

Biden didn’t explain why, if Republicans had been unbending before Trump due to concerns that they’d anger their conservative base, they’d be more willing to work with Democrats after his departure.

Still, he said, “I honest to God believe, with Trump out of the way, you’re going to find people screwing up a lot more courage than they had before to say, ‘OK, OK, I can move now, I have more leeway.’”

9:37 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

Biden: "The politics has gotten just so out of whack"

Edward M. PioRoda/CNN
Edward M. PioRoda/CNN

Former Vice President Joe Biden explained Monday night why politics are so different now from when he was young senator in Congress.

Biden was 29 when he was elected to Congress -- when Richard Nixon was president.

"Politics today has gotten so mean and ugly and dirty and everybody questioning motive and not focusing at all on trying to put things together, instead of disagreeing on substance you go to motive," he said.

Biden went on to say it has become difficult for Republicans to stand up and take on President Trump, "even if they think he should be taken on because he has such vitriol."

"The politics has gotten just so out of whack. But it's going to come back in whack, this guy," he said.

10:44 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

Biden on Trump: "My job is just to go beat him"

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Edward M. PioRoda/CNN
Edward M. PioRoda/CNN

Former Vice President Joe Biden said impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump could convince independents and Republicans to oppose Trump.

Asked at a CNN town hall Monday night whether impeachment proceedings would help or hurt Democrats in the 2020 election, Biden answered that -- no matter the political outcome -- Trump’s actions have left the House of Representatives with no choice but to proceed.

“The House has no option. It has to enforce the Constitution, whether or not -- whether or not -- it turns out to work or not work, or whether or not it turns out that he should or shouldn’t be kicked out of office,” he said.

Biden added that if Democrats make a strong case that Trump violated his oath of office, “you’re going to find that those areas that are independent and Republican areas saying, whoa, whoa, we got to do something, we got to do something.”

“That’s going to change their view. Let’s see where the facts lead us,” Biden said. He added: “My job is just to go beat him."

Watch more:

10:48 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

"We owe you big": Biden says he would extend GI Bill benefits to all veterans

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he would support a plan to extend GI Bill benefits to all veterans.

US Army veteran Dave Degner, 42, explained to Biden that he enlisted before September 11, 2001, and served until 2004.

"I am unable to utilize GI Bill benefits after 15 years from when I got out of the military," he said.

Degner pointed out that veterans who were discharged after 2013 get benefits for life. He then asked Biden if he would extend GI Bill benefits to all veterans.

Here's what Biden said:

"Yes, I would attempt to do that. Two things: No. 1, we owe you big. The fact of the matter is own 1% of our population serves ... We only have one sacred obligation and it's not hyperbole, one sacred obligation in the government to protect those who we send to war and equip them when they come to make sure they have everything they're entitled to. You're entitled to the benefits that should come with you having served as long as you did and so the answer is yes."
9:00 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

All eyes are on Biden vs. Warren this week

Analysis from CNN's Chris Cillizza

When Sen. Elizabeth Warren suggested former Vice President Joe Biden should be running in the Republican presidential primary because of his criticism of her "Medicare For All" plan, he fought back.

He's spent the past week bashing Warren as an elitist who is out of touch with working people, who, he maintains, are the core of the Democratic Party. Warren has cast that elitist attack as an attempt to paint her as angry — a gendered low blow.

"Over and over, we are told that women are not allowed to be angry," Warren wrote in a fundraising email to supporters. "It makes us unattractive to powerful men who want us to be quiet."

Both sides clearly believe that this is a fight that benefits their side — and that they can win. Which means it's not going to stop anytime soon.

To reclaim momentum in the race, Biden has to convince Democratic voters that Warren represents a dangerous gamble because of her liberal policies and alleged elitism. For Warren, she needs to show she can beat back that attack — which will surely come from Trump if he is the nominee — while also making the case that Biden's hits on her are a function of the establishment (and men in particular) panicking because they see a strong woman emerging as the potential nominee. 

8:55 p.m. ET, November 11, 2019

Why Joe Biden's name keeps coming up in the impeachment inquiry

As 2020 Democrats campaign, much of Washington, DC, is focused on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Here's how Biden fits in: The inquiry is centered on the July 25 phone call where Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as well as his son Hunter Biden.

Trump also openly asked China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden while talking to reporters at the White House.

There's no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.