NBC Eager for Biden 2020 Run: ‘Still Has This Fire in His Belly’

On Friday, during a lengthy live interview with Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on NBC’s Today show, co-host Craig Melvin repeatedly pushed the idea of the former Vice President running for higher office in 2020. The reporter even told Biden: “You sound like a man who wants to run.”

After urging Biden to advise the Senate on how handle Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, Melvin turned to Jill Biden and wondered: “Dr. Biden, let’s just say hypothetically, come January, this fellow sitting next to you, he comes to you, because we know he’s been crisscrossing the country campaigning for a bunch of people, anyone who’s heard him recently know that he still has this fire in his belly....he says, ‘Sweetie, I think I want to be President of the United States again,’ you say what?”

 

 

Jill Biden replied: “I say, ‘Joe, you would make a great president. But let’s think about it.’” Melvin gushed: “That sounded like an endorsement.” He then turned to Joe Biden and declared: “You sound like a man who wants to run. You sound like a guy who really wants to.”

Biden dodged:

I desperately want to change the landscape. And there’s more than one to do it. I’m looking for someone to – there’s a lot of really talented people we have out there. Kamala Harris, you’ve got Cory Booker, you’ve got, you know, the former mayor of Massachusetts [sic]. You’ve got a lot of talented people.

Melvin continued to press him on his presidential ambitions: “You said in 2016 that you regretted not doing it. If you don’t run this time, will you regret it?”

Part of the interview was dedicated to the Bidens’ efforts to fight cancer and fund new medical research. Melvin even managed to work campaign politics into that discussion, asking: “What would a – hypothetically – what would a Biden presidency mean for cancer research in this country?”

At the end of the friendly segment, Melvin jokingly promised more rosy coverage: “When we come back down next time, I want to do the story on the fact that you guys have been married more than 40 years and you put up with him the way that you do. If people only knew.” Amid the laughter, he repeated: “If people only knew, Dr. Biden. We’ll come back down and do that story next time.”

Here are excerpts of the September 21 exchange:

7:33 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Dr. Biden, let’s just say hypothetically, come January, this fellow sitting next to you, he comes to you, because we know he’s been crisscrossing the country campaigning for a bunch of people, anyone who’s heard him recently know that he still has this fire in his belly.

JILL BIDEN: Do you?

MELVIN: If he comes to you in January, he says, “Sweetie, I think I want to be President of the United States again,” you say what?

JILL BIDEN: I say, “Joe, you would make a great president. But let’s think about it.”

MELVIN: That sounded like an endorsement. Here’s the thing, here’s the thing, I know you have said you haven’t made up your mind just yet. You sound like a man who wants to run. You sound like a guy who really wants to. Do you want –  

JOE BIDEN: I desperately want to change the landscape. And there’s more than one to do it. I’m looking for someone to – there’s a lot of really talented people we have out there. Kamala Harris, you’ve got Cory Booker, you’ve got, you know, the former mayor of Massachusetts [sic]. You’ve got a lot of talented people. But we have got to stop this degradation of the system that’s going on. That’s why I'm campaigning all over the country. I’m campaigning for candidates because we’ve got to build a berm out there. We’re going to win back the United States House of Representatives, I promise you. And I predict we’ll win back the Senate, too.

MELVIN: Really? You said in 2016 that you regretted not doing it. If you don’t run this time, will you regret it?

BIDEN: No, what I said was I regretted not being president. But it was the right decision.

JILL BIDEN: It was the right decision.

JOE BIDEN: Look, no man or woman should go out and say, “I’m running for president,” unless they can look you in the eye and say, “You have my whole heart, my whole soul, and all my emotion.”

(...)

7:37 AM ET

MELVIN: What would a – hypothetically – what would a Biden presidency mean for cancer research in this country?

(...)

7:39 AM ET

MELVIN: When we come back down next time, I want to do the story on the fact that you guys have been married more than 40 years and you put up with him the way that you do. [Laughter] If people only knew.

JOE BIDEN: It’s true.

MELVIN: If people only knew, Dr. Biden. We’ll come back down and do that story next time. Thank you both. Thank you. Hoda, Willie, we’ll send it back up to you.

HODA KOTB: Alright, Craig, thank you. And a big thank you to the Bidens. It was fascinating.

WILLIE GEIST: There was a lot in there.

KOTB: Right?

GEIST: Whether or Joe Biden runs for president, what a legacy this is, this cancer moonshot for both him and Dr. Biden.

KOTB: Yeah, it comes straight from the heart from those two.         

GEIST: Absolutely.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Liberals & Democrats NBC Today Video Craig Melvin Joe Biden Jill Biden

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