In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired on Sunday, Joe Biden, who announced this week that he would not run for president, disputed accounts that his son Beau, on death’s door, told him to run for president. “Nothing like that ever, ever happened,” Biden said.
At the table, Beau told his dad he was worried about him.
My kid’s dying, an anguished Joe Biden thought to himself, and he’s making sure I’m O.K.
“Dad, I know you don’t give a damn about money,” Beau told him, dismissing the idea that his father would take some sort of cushy job after the vice presidency to cash in.
Beau was losing his nouns and the right side of his face was partially paralyzed. But he had a mission: He tried to make his father promise to run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.
Norah O’Donnell: There was a lot you had to weigh in this run for president. I know you talked to your son, Beau, about running for president. What did he want you to do?
Vice President Biden: Well, first thing I’d like to do, and you’re being very polite the way you’re asking me the question because some people have written that, you know, Beau on his death bed said, “Dad, you’ve got to run,” and, there was this sort of Hollywood moment that, you know, nothing like that ever, ever happened. Beau from the time he was in his 30s—or actually his late 20s—was my—he and Hunter were one of my two most reliable advisors. And, Beau all along thought that I should run and I could win.
But there was not what was sort of made out as kind of this Hollywood-esque thing that at the last minute Beau grabbed my hand and said, “Dad, you’ve got to run, like, win one for the Gipper.” It wasn’t anything like that.
It wasn’t like that. What was it like, then? The “60 Minutes” reporter doesn’t ask the follow-up question, turning instead to one about what advice Obama gave Biden about running.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Biden didn’t leak a story about what the dying Beau Biden wanted from his father to Dowd, just that whatever story was leaked—if one was leaked at all!—is not the one that happened. Rather, it’s not the one that Biden (now) wants us to think happened. Regardless, it would seem that Dowd got taken for a ride. That’s okay! Happens to the best of us.