Joe Biden said his late son Beau 'should be the one running for president' in an emotional tribute on 'Morning Joe'

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Beau Biden and Joe Biden

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  • Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden gave an emotional tribute to his late son Beau Biden in a Wednesday morning appearance on "Morning Joe."
  • Biden said, "Beau should be the one running for president, not me. Every morning I get up Joe, not a joke, and I think to myself, 'Is he proud of me?" in response to a question from co-host Joe Scarborough.
  • Beau died in 2015 at the age of 46 from glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. Beau's life and legacy inspired Biden's 2017 memoir "Promise Me, Dad."
  • "He's the one who wanted me to stay engaged," Biden told Scarborough. "And it didn't mean I had to run for president, but he was worried I would walk away from what I've worked on my whole life."
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Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden gave an emotional tribute to his late son Beau Biden in a Wednesday morning appearance on "Morning Joe," saying he believed Beau should be running for president instead of him. 

Beau died in 2015 at the age of 46 from glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer that also afflicted the late Sen. Jon McCain. Beau's life and legacy inspired Biden's 2017 memoir "Promise Me, Dad."

In the interview, "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough asked Biden "how much guidance and inspiration" he gets from Beau on the campaign trail, connecting his loss to the recent death of legendary congressman Rep. Elijah Cummings, who officiated the wedding of Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski. 

Biden, becoming visibly becoming emotional and holding back tears, replied, "Beau should be the one running for president, not me. Every morning I get up Joe, not a joke, and I think to myself, 'Is he proud of me?"

 

Like his father, Beau dedicated his career to public service. He worked as a federal prosecutor, served thirteen years in Delaware National Guard and Army National Guard — during which he completed a tour of duty in Iraq — and served as Delaware's attorney general. 

For decades, Biden has used his personal story of overcoming extraordinary grief and family hardship to connect with the American people.

Shortly after Biden was elected to the Senate in 1972, his first wife Neila Hunter and daughter Naomi were killed in a car accident, which Hunter and Beau survived, but came out of with severe injuries. 

Beau's 2015 death deeply affected both Biden and his other son Hunter, who has publicly divulged his own struggles with mental illness and substance abuse. 

"He's the one who wanted me to stay engaged, who made me 'promise me dad, you'll stay engaged,'" Biden told Scarborough of Beau. "And it didn't mean I had to run for president, but he was worried I would walk away from what I've worked on my whole life since I've been 24 years old. He is part of me, Joe, and so is my surviving son Hunter and Ashley."

Ashley is Biden's 38-year-old daughter with Jill, his second wife. 

Hunter told The New Yorker for a July 2019 profile that Beau's death inspired him to think about running for office himself, but his ex-wife Kathleen Biden immediately shot down the idea given his then-recent drug-related discharge from the US Naval Reserves.

Biden told Scarborough that for decades, "hundreds" of people have approached him on the campaign trail seeking comfort and advice in their own times of grief. 

"All they want to know is that you can make it," Biden said. "And the way you make it is you have purpose, and you realize they're inside you, they're part of it, it's impossible to separate it." 

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