All three networks on Monday hyped the possible presidential run of Joe Biden, but only NBC's journalists used the word "gaffe" in relation to the Vice President. ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning avoided the term. Today reporter Andrea Mitchell offered a delicate explanation, saying that the Democrat has been known for "excessive exuberance."
The journalist reminded, "Biden has run for president twice before, and stumbled. And as Vice President, he has occasionally been prone to gaffes." In contrast, Jon Karl on GMA played a clip of Biden using profanity and gently noted, "When ObamaCare passed in 2010, the vice president voiced his approval in a way only Joe Biden can."
Karl did point out an advantage the Vice President had over Hillary Clinton:
JON KARL: While the latest polls show Hillary Clinton still has a commanding lead, there could be an opening for Biden. He leads Clinton in one critical category: 58 percent of Americans view him as honest and trust worthy. Compared to only 37 percent who say the same of Clinton.
The reporter also reminded that, for Barack Obama, "this is his loyal vice president."
On CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes avoided the word "gaffe" and any clips of Biden's verbal errors. She allowed, "Biden's past two bids for the presidency were rocky ones. The first time in 1988, he dropped out after news reports revealed he had plagiarized part of a speech."
Like her colleague on ABC, she noted that "polls now show [Clinton] is vulnerable on questions of trust and honesty." Cordes similarly reminded that Biden "has proved his loyalty."
A transcript of the August 3 Today segment is below:
7:00 AM TEASE
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Biden for president? How real is the speculation that the Vice President wants to jump into the race? Can he take on Hillary Clinton? Or is it too late?
GUTHRIE: Meantime, this is a big week in the presidential race, the Republicans are holding their first debate on Thursday. And on the Democratic side, a bit of a bombshell this weekend, speculation and reports that the Vice President once again is seriously considering a run for president. NBC's Andrea Mitchell has all of it from Washington this morning. Andrea, good morning to you.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Will Joe Biden Run for President?; New Speculation Amid Reports of Son’s Dying Wish]
ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Savannah. Vice President Joe Biden's aides say he will decide by late summer amidst that new speculation he might run against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. It is a decision possibly born in tragedy. A dying wish from his son, Beau.
BEAU BIDEN: My father, my hero. The next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.
MITCHELL: A wish also endorsed by Biden's surviving son, Hunter. Their hope, that their dad would challenge front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
STEVE MCMAHON [DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST]: He's been a heartbeat away from the presidency for eight years. I think he thinks he's qualified, and anybody in that position would be thinking about it.
MITCHELL: Biden aide Steve Ricchetti is sounding out Democratic regulars, including some who had already signed on with Clinton. Clinton has huge advantages.
ED RENDELL: Almost all the Biden donors have gone over to Hillary Clinton already. So I think it's too late to mount a serious campaign at this stage.
MITCHELL: Biden has run for president twice before, and stumbled. And as vice president, he has occasionally been prone to gaffes.
JOE BIDEN [To another senator]: We both have something in common. We both married up.
MITCHELL: And at times, excessive exuberance.
BIDEN: This is a big f- - -ing deal!
MITCHELL: But Biden has proved his loyalty and become a key adviser to the President. While Clinton, although polling way ahead of the other Democrats, has recently suffered a sharp uptick in people saying they don't trust her, possibly a reaction to controversies like her private e-mails. The campaign says it's not concerned.
JENNIFER PALMIERI [CLINTON CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR]: There's a lot of views in the Democratic Party, and, you know, we'll be prepared to handle whatever comes our way.
MITCHELL: In fact, tomorrow Clinton starts airing her first TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, aides say, costing $2 million.
HILLARY CLINTON: I believe that when families are strong, America is strong.
MITCHELL: A Biden run would certainly put President Obama in the awkward position of having to choose between his vice president and his former secretary of state. Savannah?