On a Sunday afternoon book tour in Burlington, Vermont hosted by author Jodi Picoult, Biden was asked how he wanted to spend the rest of his life. Some in the audience shouted “run away, Joe, run!” and “2020,” eliciting cheers and applause, but Biden didn’t bite. The former vice president plans to run for the White House in 2020 and has said he will make a decision within the next two months.
“I want to be able, when my life is over, to be able to tell myself that I have kept my commitment to Beau, that I have not strayed from it, that I have remained committed to all the subjects that have animated my life my whole life. life, ”Biden said Sunday. “I want to spend as much time as possible with my family. I have five grandchildren who adore me.”
“I text or talk to each of my grandchildren on my own every day,” Biden added. “The beginning, the middle and the end is family.”
This commitment the former vice president made to his late son Beau Biden is central to his memoir, “Promise Me, Daddy.” Biden was promoting the paperback version of the book at the event.
Biden also discussed his decision not to run for president in 2016 in the months following Beau’s death from brain cancer at the age of 46, noting that his son Hunter and daughter Ashley believed that a campaign could benefit their grieving family.
Biden said he “went out into the rose garden with the president, my wife and announced that I wasn’t going to ask for the nomination – even though my son and daughter thought we should because they thought that the pressure would bring us all together, keep us tight. My son says we do better under pressure, and we all had the same goal of focusing on the whole family, but I just didn’t have the courage to do it. “
The former vice president was also asked to comment on whether he thought the changes made by the Trump administration could be reversed later. He expressed optimism on the home front “assuming something changes in two years”, but expressed concern about the administration’s impact on foreign policy.
“I think on the domestic policy front we can go back,” Biden said. “On foreign policy, I’m more worried. I’m more worried because I think if we have… six more years out of the last two years, I think you’ll see the end of NATO. go see the end of our alliance. “
Biden’s event took him to the home state of a potential future opponent – Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who ran for president in 2016. The sold-out event had held at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts, which accommodates around 1,400 people and was the site of a January 2016 rally of the then-Trump candidate.