Andrea Mitchell Compares Biden to Super Bowl-Winning Quarterback, Rocky

During a fawning interview with Joe Biden on Thursday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell repeatedly pressed the former vice president on whether he would run for president in 2020, even to the point of comparing him to Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and fictional boxer Rocky Balboa.

At first, Mitchell fretted that Biden entering the race would “overshadow” various “younger Democrats” who may be considering their own presidential campaigns. However, after moving past that concern, she eagerly wondered: “Could you have beaten Donald Trump?” Biden deflected: “ Oh, I don't know....You gotta be in the ring. I have no idea whether I would have beaten Donald Trump.”

 

 

Surprisingly, despite usually being a Hillary Clinton super-fan, Mitchell followed up with: “Was President Obama wrong to anoint Hillary Clinton as the nominee?” Biden replied: “No....Hillary earned the nomination. Hillary, I think she would have made a great president.”

Referencing the victory parade taking place in Philadelphia on Thursday to celebrate the Eagles Super Bowl win, Mitchell gushed:

Now I know you made a sacrifice to sit down with us today because you could have been on Broad Street. You could have been heading towards the art museum. There’s a parade going on in Philadelphia. And Nick Foles said the other day, “Don’t be afraid to fail, failure is part of life. It’s part of building character. Without failure, who would we be?” Does that inspire you when you think about – you’ve run for president twice – when you think about the future?

Moments later, she doubled down on the comparison: “So is there some part of Joe Biden who’s identifying with Nick Foles and the team as they climb the steps of the art museum today? Is there a part of you that thinks about Rocky Balboa?”

Biden wrapped up the interview by declaring:

My calculation has never been who’s running, can I win, can I not win. It’s, is this right for me to do? And the only thing that’s right for me to do now is to try to stop this enormous erosion of the moral fabric that’s at the hands of Donald Trump and the Republicans.

Mitchell’s response to that nasty partisan attack? “Thank you, Joe Biden. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.”

Here are excerpts of the February 8 sit-down:

12:29 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: You said to the Democratic Caucus that foreign leaders call you and say, “What the hell is going on in America?” What do you think the hell is going on in America?

JOE BIDEN: I think that, look, one of the reasons for establishing this center was to begin to have a coherent and organized effort to rally around the things that have kept us safe, secure, and prosperous since World War II, which is to nurture freedom and democracy around the world.

(...)
        
MITCHELL: When he accuses Democrats of being treasonous. Now they say it was a joke, but when he uses that language against the political opposition at the State of the Union address for not applauding him enough, what’s your reaction to that?

BIDEN: I wonder about his grasp of the role of any president. I wonder as to whether or not –  why every single thing he does is put through the prism of not how it affects America, but how it affects him. I wonder how somebody could be so cavalier. Again, taking all of the – I can’t think of another president in American history, even during the Civil War, for God’s sake, that talked this way.

(...)

12:34 PM ET

MITCHELL: Now, I gotta ask you about 2020. There are so many younger Democrats, you’ve got Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar and Eric Garcetti and Mitch Landrieu.

BIDEN: Really a lot of qualified – absolutely.

MITCHELL: Is your presence on the stage and your decision-making – you’re obviously considering it – is that going to overshadow and prevent some of these younger Democrats?

BIDEN: No, no, no. Look, I give you my word, I’m focused on one thing: electing a Democratic Congress to stop this erosion of our – of the core of who we are. And I’ll look at that a year from now.

MITCHELL: Could you have beaten Donald Trump?

BIDEN: Oh, I don't know. Look, you know, I read everybody saying, “Biden can beat [Trump].” Look, you gotta be in the ring, man. You gotta be in the ring. I have no idea whether I would have beaten Donald Trump.  

MITCHELL: Was President Obama wrong to anoint Hillary Clinton as the nominee?

BIDEN: No.

(...)

BIDEN: Hillary earned the nomination. Hillary, I think she would have made a great president.

MITCHELL: Now I know you made a sacrifice to sit down with us today because...  

BIDEN: No sacrifice.

MITCHELL: ...you could have been on Broad Street.

BIDEN: Well, that’s true.

MITCHELL: You could have been heading towards the art museum.

BIDEN: That’s true.

MITCHELL: There’s a parade going on in Philadelphia.

BIDEN: There is.

MITCHELL: And Nick Foles said the other day, “Don’t be afraid to fail, failure is part of life.”

BIDEN: Absolutely.

MITCHELL: “It’s part of building character. Without failure, who would we be?”

BIDEN: He’s absolutely right.

MITCHELL: Does that inspire you when you think about – you’ve run for president twice – when you think about the future?

(...)

MITCHELL: So is there some part of Joe Biden who’s identifying with Nick Foles and the team as they climb the steps of the art museum today? Is there a part of you that thinks about Rocky Balboa?

(...)

BIDEN: I have plenty of time to consider whether or not to run for the presidency. We have really qualified people out there. The people you named are really impressive. They’re really impressive. And – but that’s not my calculation. My calculation has never been who’s running, can I win, can I not win. It’s, is this right for me to do? And the only thing that’s right for me to do now is to try to stop this enormous erosion of the moral fabric that’s at the hands of Donald Trump and the Republicans.

MITCHELL: Thank you, Joe Biden. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.


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