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tv   CNN Special Report  CNN  November 28, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm PST

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fuller is also a goalkeeper for vanderbilt's conference champion soccer team. she got her shot at football after several players were ruled out due to covid-19 contact tracing. i'm jessica dean in washington. i'll be back tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. eastern. up next, the cnn special report "fight for the white house: joe biden's long journey." have a wonderful night. we'll see you tomorrow. the following is a cnn special report. highways gone from a young politician with swagger. >> they said we think you should run for the senate. i said i'm not old enough. >> to a young father suffering great loss. >> my brother looked at me and said, she's dead, isn't she? >> about a irishman with a story that reads like a greek tragedy. >> how can you experience the worst thing imaginable twice in one lifetime? >> his career has been long and
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often controversial. >> do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> i do. >> that now has a new twist. >> i am more than willing to work with him. a senator, a vice president, and finally, president-elect on his third try. >> i seek to be a president who seeks to ute, not divide. >> do you see yourself as the polar opposite of donald trump? >> i hope so. >> a cnn special report, "fight for the white house: joe biden's long journey." >> it's a good night. it's a good night! and it seems to be getting even better. >> more than 30 years after his first run for the presidency -- >> joe biden with the lead tonight and a lead overall in
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the delegate race. >> on his third try for the white house. >> i'm here to report we are very much alive! >> it was the sweet super tuesday that joe biden had always dreamed of, setting a clear path to the nomination finally at age 77. >> it was like okay, let's buckle up. we're going to go. >> it was a really good feeling. >> it was glorious. >> glorious, and unusual to say the least. >> fact. no one has ever come in fourth in iowa and fifth in new hampshire and gone on to become the democratic presidential nominee. >> to do as poorly as he did in the first two contests. >> where i am from, that's the opening bell. >> to have the day he had on super tuesday was highly, highly unusual, defied the laws of politics. >> thank you, thank you, thank you! >> it's a day joseph robinette biden junior hr. has been waiti
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for decades. how long has joe biden wanted to be president of the united states? >> i first met him in 1972, and clearly, he's not ruling out the possibility. he is 29 years old. >> there is the story about holding up a paper that little joey wrote when he was 12 years old saying he wanted to be president. >> well, if a nun said it, it has to be true. >> and still is. but the brass ring has some big strings attached. >> a country facing the worst infectious disease crisis we've seen since 1918. the worst racism crisis we've seen since 1968. it's a triple threat of crises all at once, all combined. >> biden has described himself as a transitional candidate. >> we're going speak to that now. >> but a triple threat could require drastic, urgent action. >> the economy cannot survive if
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we don't get control of covid. that's going to be the thing that's going to affect every single thing that gets done. >> from the beginning, when he was just joey from scranton, p.a., biden wanted to be the one to get things done. >> joe biden was always the lead dog. he had to be number one. he was in the number one position. >> a natural leader, his friends say. >> we always followed joe. >> and a natural talker. >> there's an old joke about joe that if joe biden were standing next to an electric light pole, he'd strike up a confidence. >> his family was large, tight knit, and irish catholic. >> big, boisterous family, constantly playing pranks on each other. >> with at least nine of them in this modest home. joey was the eldest of four, then came valerie, jimmy, and frankie. the children's maternal grandparents lived there too, along with an aunt, sometimes an
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uncle, and their parents. joseph r. biden sr. and catherine eugenia finnegan biden. >> my mom was fierce in her commitment to family. she told us growing up that there is family and there is family and there is family. >> i remember going to my mother once. i guess i was in fifth grade saying mom, i love you more than anything. and she said joey, i know how much you love me, but remember, you're closer to your brothers and your sister than you are to me. i said how's that, mom? she said you're the same blood. you're closer to them. they're with you all the time. never forget that. >> mom said that we were a gift to one another, and, you know, we believed her. >> let me ask you about your sister, who has been incredibly supportive to you. what role has val played in your life? >> she's been my best friend my whole life. she has been on the handlebars of my bicycle i guess since --
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excuse me. since she was 2 years old. i never went a place i didn't take her. i taught her how to play ball, did everything with her. >> to this day? >> to this day, and all the way through. >> there is all these sayings that joe and i have for our mom and dad. dad said to us it's not how many times you get knocked down. it's how quickly you get up. and dad was all about resilience. >> especially after losing his job when biden was young. >> they were forced to move away from their childhood home to find opportunity in wilmington. they had to reinvent themselves there. it made him very close to his family as families often become much closer during adversity. >> faith helped too. >> family and faith were the bookends. we were an irish catholic middle class household. our family values, taking care of one another, treating people with respect, being resilient, those values coincided with the
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catholic social doctrine that we learned every single day at school. there but for the grise of god go i. you are your brother's keeper. so it was a seamless way of life. >> a seamless way of life for a determined young joe biden. >> richard ben cramer writes about your brother as a child. he says joey was always quick with a grace born of cocky self-possession. he didn't like some kids his age double-think himself. once joey set his mind, it's like he didn't think at all. he just did. >> the more serious version of what he set his mind to do is he stuttered terribly. and he really couldn't string more than three or four words together at a time. and he determined that he was not going to be defined by stutter. >> teenaged boys can be pretty harsh, even cruel.
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he used to get teased a lot. hey, bbbbb biden. they called him stut. >> so the summer before joe biden's junior year, poetry helped him lose his stutter. >> i would do poetry to try to say meek young men grow up in libraries. >> that's emerson. >> yes, that's emerson. and the reason i did it is to try to get a cadence to how you speak. when you are able to change the cadence of what you do and say, it seems how you'll be able to overcome it somehow. >> i think all of us were surprised in late august and september when we went back to school that he wasn't stuttering anymore. >> the high school was archmere academy, an elite catholic school he worked hard to attend because he viewed it as the gateway to success. he was on the football team. >> he was a halfback. he made some key plays in some of those games. >> off the field, friends remember a time he stood up for
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a buddy. it happened when he went to a diner with some classmates, including the only black kid in the class. >> the restaurant's policy that we don't serve -- they didn't use the word "black" at the time. he must have said negroes. frank said listen, i'll leave. joe said no, sit down. if they're not going serve you, they're not going to serve any of us. this is 1961. this is before the civil rights act, before the voting rights act, and before there was much sensitivity i would say, at least for teenaged boys, white boys about civil rights issues. >> biden says he learned about the reality of race relations here while lifeguarding in a black neighborhood in the early 1960s when delaware was very divided racially and culturally. >> the polish neighborhood, irish neighborhood, the black neighborhood. >> he stood out but worked hard to fit in. >> once you come in the neighborhood and somebody like
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you, you become like brothers. you become friends and stuff. that's how joe and i came. >> i was about probably 9 when i first met him. i was one of the ornery kids in this pool. they called me dennis the men e menace. >> he would grow up to become dennis the mayor of wilmington. >> joe saw an opportunity. the door was open, and he was going to get in. he was going make friends and he was going to talk to people and he was going to know this community and have this community trust him, because i know joe had aspirations of going places. >> long before biden went into politics, he was already politicking, and planning his surprising next moves. up next, success. >> i will never, ever think anything is impossible again in my entire life. >> followed by tragedy. >> i remember looking up and saying, "god." i was so angry, so angry. it's the kay black friday sale!
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by early 1964 joe biden was a student at the university of delaware, still full of confidence but low on cash.
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when he and two buddies decided to head to fort lauderdale for spring break. >> the first day we went on the beach, it was like 10,000 guys and 20 girls. the odds just did not look good for us. lo and behold, a plane goes by with a sign saying round trips to nassau, 28 bucks. joe, what do you think? got to go. let's go. >> they arrive to discover the college women on private hotel beaches, which they couldn't afford. >> we found some of the hotel towels on the fence. we grabbed them and put them around our shoulders and waist and walked in like we'd been staying there all along. >> they were there for a few minutes when they spotted a young woman they all wanted to meet, neilia hunter, a 21-year-old senior at syracuse university. >> i'm saying let's flip a coin or one potato, two potato. and while i'm trying to figure it out, i'm looking at my hands, he takes off. he's got a 50 yard dash on both of us and by the time we get
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over there, he's sitting there chatting her up. >> when i met neilia, god's truth, i knew i was going to marry her. i really did. the second night i said i think i'll marry you. she said i think so. >> so we get on the plane coming home. he said fred, i've decided. i'm in love and i'm going to syracuse law school. >> just as planned biden made it to syracuse law school and married neilia hunter a year later, in the summer of 1966. after graduation he returned home with his wife to work at a law firm. national guardsmen were still patrolling the streets of wilmington in the wake of rioting that followed martin luther king's murder. >> wasn't good at all. we looked like a city under siege by the military. >> he saw a country torn apart by race. a city literally on fire. the national guard occupied wilmington, delaware longer than any city in america after the
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riots following king's assassination. and in that moment a young joe biden said i can help. >> biden was a believer in his own ability to convince anyone of anything but no amount of self-confidence or ambition was big enough to deliver a senate seat at age 27. so he ran for the county council. as usual, he enlisted his sister. so how did you get involved in the politics of it? >> he always picked me first. it was just a natural thing to do. he was going to go in the politics. i was going with him. we asked everybody we knew to help us, and we asked them to ask ten people to help us. this is where we delivered -- we knocked down every door. >> he won and a year later, biden found his real opening while attending a political convention in delaware. >> i went to the motel to shave for the evening and i got a knock in my door and in walks four people. they said we got to talk to you, joe. i had a towel around me just shaven. they said we think you should run for the senate.
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i said whoa, i'm not old enough. >> a judge in the group set him straight. >> said joe, you obviously didn't do very well on constitutional law. it says you have to be 30 to be sworn in, not 30 to be elected. >> it was audacious, if not arrogant for biden to run as a 29-year-old underdog candidate of change against a well-liked republican senator named cale boggs. >> what is your last name? >> miller. >> i know the miller family. >> he had been governor and member of congress for two terms and running for a third term in the united states senate. cale boggs was loved. i mean, he was loved. >> once again, biden asked valerie to run the show. >> i remember saying to him, joey, i can't run a statewide campaign. i don't know how to do that. remember, he's 28, 27, i'm 25, 26. he said don't worry about it, valerie, we'll figure it out. >> she reached out to a local
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democratic party activist ted kaufman. >> so i went down and talked to him. so you're running on civil rights. you're running on environment. you're running on tax reform. and those are really good issues. silence. i said but i don't think you have a chance at winning. >> you said what? >> i don't think you have a chance of winning. you don't have a chance. cale boggs is like -- cale boggs is incredible. you've been in this for two years. you look like you're 25 years old. this is a race to run in order to make these issues you care about. i say you can do that, but there is no chance you can win. >> and his reaction to that was? >> well, just come and help me. just come and help me. we'll see. we'll see. >> biden was confident he could talk his way into voters' hearts but what kaufman saw was bleak. >> on labor day, we did a big time polling. you know what the number was? 47% for boggs, 19% for biden. >> but it was also the first year 18-year-olds could vote and
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young voters saw a cdidate who was promising that he understands what's happening today. 50 years later, this time as a political elder trying to connect with young voters, it's still his mantra. >> let's go joe! >> they had this funny feeling that cale boggs just -- his heart wasn't in it. he had been talked into running one more time by richard nixon. >> joe wants to talk to you for a few minutes and vote that democratic ticket in november. >> and then. >> we snuck up on him. boggs, this is a nixon landslide. nobody expected a democrat to win and that was the truth. >> we won by a rousing 3100 votes. >> on election night, i remember it as if it was yesterday. i said i will never, ever think anything is impossible again in my entire life. ♪ happy birthday >> he turned 30, the eligible age to serve three weeks later.
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he and neilia already had a picture-perfect young family, a baby named naomi, and two toddler boys, joseph biden iii, or beau, and hunter. the quintessential young family was moving to the nation's capital. >> for six weeks we were on top of the world. i man, he was the dragon slayer. we were the bright young hope for the democratic party and it was completely joyful. >> on december 18th, neilia was supposed to go with her husband to washington, but decided to stay behind to buy a tree and christmas gifts. >> i went with joe to washington to interview staff. senator bird told my brother, offered joe to use his office, which we did. >> and then came the phone call. >> it was jimmy biden and i picked up the phone and jimmy biden said come home now, there's a terrible accident. with neilia and the boys, and
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the babies, all three. >> and you flew back and didn't -- >> we didn't say a word. i just -- we just -- it was a bumpy ride. i remember that. it was a tiny plane. i remember he was on my right and i just had my hand on his leg and we just -- i mean, we -- you know, you know. the life out of your skin? try garnier micellar water rose. with rose water and micelles that work like a magnet to gently cleanse and remove oils and makeup. and now, even hydrates skin. it's cleansing, reinvented. micellar waters by garnier, naturally. and the din and hum of technology fall away... that's pure gold. - with the ninja foodito intelligesmart xl just pick your protein, select your doneness,
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one week before christmas 1972, joe biden and his sister travelled to d.c. to hire staff. his wife neilia stayed in delaware with their three children to buy a tree. >> the memory that i have that's most vivid is walking in the russell building with the echo of just our shoes. >> i remember looking up in the rotunda saying god. i was so angry. i got a call from a first
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responder, and i said what happened? he said well, there was a tractor trailer and your wife and daughter are dead. >> neilia and the biden's baby naomi were killed when a truck hit their station wagon. >> the boys were very badly injured. they were hospitalized. hunter with a fractured skull and beau was in a body cast with both arms, both legs, you had to pick him up and carry him this way. >> biden thought their bedside, not the senate is where he ought to be. >> your brother is clearly considering not being sworn in. he doesn't want to be senator. >> yeah. he spoke to the governor and to have the governor replace him. >> the senate majority leader mike mansfield changed biden's mind.
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>> he said your wife worked really hard for you to get elected and cared a great deal about it. get sworn in, and just stay six months. >> if in six months or so there is a conflict between my being a good father and being a good senator, i promise you i will contact governor-elect tribbett, as i had earlier and tell him we can always get another senator, but they can't get another father. they send the secretary of the senate to the hospital room to swear me in so i couldn't change my mind. >> so help you god. >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> the family and a few close friends are there. hunter holding on to beau's hand. it was heartbreaking. >> the biden family was devastated, but they had to move on. so valerie moved in. >> they were such a gift to me. the whole family was broken hearted.
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and we just, you know, the big thing, take care of one another, not because it's the responsibility but because it was a gift. >> and while valerie subbed in for mom, her brother also changed his plans. >> the reason that joe started to commute, he said they've lost their mom and they lost their baby sister. i cannot take them away and lose mom and dad and uncle jimmy and frankie and aunt val so he will commute. after the accident, i mean, the bond was like steel rods among the three of them. >> steel bonds with his boys and molten anger over the loss of his wife and baby. >> you said you went around looking for fights. >> i did. >> and you wrote you even understand why people consider
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committing suicide. >> i thought about what it ought to be like to do to the memorial bridge and jump off and end it all, but i didn't ever get in a car or do it or even get close. what saved me was really my boys. >> on capitol hill he found support he didn't expect from senate elders of both parties. >> these old bulls all took him in and helped buffer him from that grief. helped him carve a path towards real meaning and value and that experience. he saw their humanity before he saw their politics in many respects. >> biden's senate was a much less polarized place and in a 1974 interview, he recoiled it at being pigeon holed by special interest groups as being either liberal or conservative. his political connections were always personal. >> he'll talk about a republican opponent in private with a great deal of empathy and compassion.
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>> those relationships were built by a series of just quiet moments sitting down next to someone without any particular point to it. just to see how you're doing, what's going on. >> he kept the personnel close and over the years became the unofficial eulogizer of the senate, even delivering a final tribute for a conservative republican segregationist. >> i tried to understand him. i learned from him. and i watched him change oh so subtly. >> he delivered strom thurmond's eulogy too? >> yes, he did. yes, he did. at strom thurmond's request. i think when you can hold on to your own political beliefs and have the respect of people whose political belief is totally different, that says something.
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>> over time, biden developed an almost pastoral habit of consoling others, in public, on the campaign trail. >> someone who has been through it and says i know how you feel. you kind of look and you say i guess i can make it. they made it. >> he did it privately, too. >> in the middle of his campaign for the presidency, my dad had passed away. joe was the first one to call. he's running for office. you can leave a voice mail. >> right. >> yeah. he's a good man. >> one evening i heard some crying, and i went out to see what was going on. i heard the vice president's voice and i heard him consoling somebody. he was still in the west wing working and had bumped into a staffer who was giving a tour to a widow who had recently lost her husband.
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he was walking down the hall, and that was his instant reaction. >> people talk about your empathy and your pastoral nature when people are suffering. did that begin after the accident? >> i think it really began in an earnest way with my stutter because it is the most humiliating thing in the world for someone. how do you walk up to the girl to go to the eighth grade dance saying would you got to the, the, the, the, the and there are always a bunch of chumps out there who would make fun. that's how i learned to fight. >> he found himself in the middle of a political struggle in the 1970s and '80s when he took a controversial stand against court-ordered bussing. >> i happened to be one of those so-called people labeled liberal on civil rights but oppose bussing. >> if you're a biden, that's going to be a tough issue for you because of that big empathy, that big heart. is this good for kids? you know, is this the right way
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to get kids to get along, to get parents to get along? is there another way. >> i'm going to direct this to vice president biden. >> that decades old decision became fodder in the democratic debates. >> you also worked with them to oppose bussing. and you know, there was a little girl in california who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day, and that little girl was me. >> if you go back and look at the polls back then, the vast majority of black people were against bussing. i was against bussing. >> you were? >> yes. the first real serious discussion i ever had with my wife was over bussing. because i thought court-ordered bussing put too much of a burden on the students. i believed in neighborhood
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concept schools, rather than being bussed, and when i express that publicly, my wife took me to the wood shed in such a way that i would never forget it. >> while biden's political life was tumultuous, back at home he was trying to get his personal life in order. >> i had a thousand yentas, you know. everybody had somebody for me, you know, and they were very nice about it. >> by 1977, he had found someone he wanted to marry, jill jacobs. >> i had to ask her five times to marry me, five. five times. she would say no every time i asked her. >> i knew what the boys had been through. they lost their mother and they lost their sister. i had to be 100% sure that this marriage would last until death do us part because i loved the
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boys so much that i thought, they can't lose another mother through a divorce. >> two years later, they have ashley. she not only married joe, she married the boys, she married the biden family and married the state of delaware. >> and she may have saved his life. >> i said, what do you mean giving him last rights? he's not going to die. your cousin. from boston. there's nothing like a crisp refreshing sam adams boston lager. a perfect balance of malt & hops... sorry. i was gonna buy that six-pack. ah, ten bucks. that includes mine. yep, ok. ♪ ♪
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greatest senator from delaware, joseph r. biden. ♪ >> by the mid '80s joe biden was a senator going places. >> how are you, pal? >> he was young. he was dynamic, and people said this is the next kennedy. this is a guy who will be president of the united states some day. >> but was biden really ready? >> you know, it's funny about '88.
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i've never said this to anybody. i wasn't sure how much he wanted to run. >> was he conflicted? i think he was. it was a full-time commitment and joe really was, you know, joe who took the train home at night to be with his kids and you can't do that when you're running for president. >> but what senator can resist the presidential lure? >> he didn't get up in '88 and say i'm running for president. i was so many people came and said you got to think about this. you got to do it. >> and so amtrak joe moved onto the presidential track in a wide open and competitive race announcing his candidacy at the wilmington train station. >> today i announced my candidacy for president of the united states of america. >> just a few weeks after his announcement, some unexpected news took him on a detour. >> it is the surprise retirement this summer of swing vote
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justice louis powell. >> biden was chairman of the senate judiciary committee and would lead the confirmation hearings to replace justice louis powell. the crucial swing vote on the court to major decisions like roe v. wade. >> civil rights issues and opportunity. president reagan's appointment will have a strong opportunity to influence. >> president regan took the opportunity to nominate an icon of the right. >> i today announced my intention to nominate united states court of appeals judge robert h. bourque. >> reaction from the left was swift. >> civil rights groups promise all-out efforts to block confirmation of bourque. >> the campaign was pushing us to come out against boric early. we knew if we did that, all we would end up is the 45 liberals in the senate and we wouldn't win. >> so biden found himself running two campaigns, one
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against robert bork, another for president. and they were pulling him in different directions. >> my name is joe biden. i'd like to be the democratic nominee for president of the united states of america. >> in iowa, an early caucus state that mattered most, biden was bunched with others near the top of the polls, but his attention was split. >> there was a mismatch between the expectation of joe and what was going on in the campaign. the sort of basic stuff wasn't getting done. >> but that was nothing compared to what unfolded next. >> live from the iowa state fairgrounds in des moines, election '88. >> at the end of a key debate at the iowa state fair, biden used some of his stump speech, which included quotes from british politician neil kinnock, a populist life story, politically compelling, but it wasn't
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biden's life, and it was delivered without any attribution. >> why is it joe biden -- >> what am i? the first kinnick in a thousand generations. >> the first in his family. >> to be able to get the university. >> ever to go to a university. >> i mean, he had given that speech 25, 30 times and in every case he had attributed it to kinnick. he didn't plagiarize. >> i don't think anybody in the campaign saw it as a major thing when it happened. >> but it was, especially after a staffer from the michael dukakis campaign leaked the story right on the eve of the bork hearings. >> democratic presidential candidate joe biden finds himself on trial, charged with political plagiarism. >> how did it feel to have your integrity challenged in such a direct way? >> other than losing any family, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. >> the controversy fed the narrative biden was more show than substance, all as the bork
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hearings began. >> i honestly believe, judge, i think i've read everything you have written. >> biden zeroed in on bork's controversial opinions like his critique of the supreme court's decision to strike down a state law banning contraceptives. >> does a state legislative body or any legislative body have a right to pass a law telling a married couple or anyone else, telling them they can or cannot use birth control? >> i don't know what rational the state would offer or the challenge the married couple would make. >> the problem with bork is he would never admit there was a right to privacy under the constitution. >> biden may have been swaying public opinion on bork but his presidential campaign was imploding with more charges. >> first there came reports he lifted the phrases of other speakers without identifying them. then new charges that as a
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student of law at syracuse university, he used five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribu attribution. >> i knew i had one of two choices, leave the bork hearing and save my campaign if i could by going out and making my case and i thought that what -- i don't want to go down in history as the guy who saved his political life. let bork get in the court. >> so he was out. >> all of my energy and skill is required to deal with president a regular raegan's effort to reshape the supreme court. i've concluded that i will stop being a candidate for president of the united states. >> i can remember how devastated i felt and how devastated joe felt. i mean, no one had ever assailed his character before. >> it was a big blow to him. some people, they never would come back from that sort of ending of a campaign.
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>> and lest i say something that might be somewhat sarcastic, i should go to the bork hearing. >> he was about to go into the meeting room, and i said joe, you have to go in and win. you have to win this one. >> if you look at the next paragraph of that talk. >> bork was pummeled by biden and others and left to fight largely on his own by president president reagan. >> he thought he was smarter than biden and he thought he could beat biden and he was wrong. >> the yeas are 42. the nays are 58. the nomination is not confirmed. >> in a 2008 interview, four years before his death, bork told cnn that, quote, as a whole, biden wasn't fair. >> the democrats, including biden, spent time making the most scurrilous charges about me. >> democrats praised biden but others blamed him for permanently politicizing
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judicial confirmations. >> well, he really presided over the inauguration of the politics of personal destruction in the judicial confirmation process. >> and now the ideology of the judge is front and center. it's about how are you going to vote on these things. >> for some, bork became a new verb, shorthand for getting railroaded and destroyed and remains to this day. >> it was just a good old-fashioned attempt at borking. >> what's your response to them when they say well, it just was all about his ideology? >> well, it was about his constitutional philosophy, which is totally legitimate. nothing i did went after bork's character or anything in his background. >> so biden won one fight and left another, and his family now sees it as a life-saver. >> maybe this is rationalization, but his pulling out probably saved his life. you know, he never would have stopped. >> right as the campaign would have been in full gear, biden collapsed after an event in new
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york. he made it home and jill rushed him to the hospital. >> he looked so gray, and i thought oh my god. >> my brother had an aneurysm and an aneurysm didn't have any calculations whether joe was running or not running. the aneurysm was in his brain and it erupted. >> there were two aneurysms, both extremely dangerous. >> there was a better than even chance i was not likely to make it through the first operation. >> the situation was so dire, a priest came to give the 45-year-old biden his last rights. but was interrupted. >> i ran into the room. the priest was at the bedside and i said get out. because he is not going to die. and the priest, i think i just shocked the priest, and he just ran out of the room. >> biden had two surgeries and a tough recovery. seven months later, he returned
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it was terrifying. >> do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> i do. >> it was scary. it was something that never happened before and the stakes were so high. >> the stakes, a seat on the supreme court for clarence thomas. the man in charge, senate judiciary committee chairman joe biden. >> i expected for joe biden to have a fair hearing. joe biden's leadership was very weak. >> reporter: almost 30 years later thomas sits on the supreme court. biden is president-elect.
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and even before the election anita hill had made a decision. >> i think joe biden is a person who should be elected in november. >> so you're going to vote for joe biden? >> yes. >> would you be willing to work with him? >> my commitment is finding solutions. i am more than willing to work with him. >> is it just about the fact that he's running against donald trump or is it more about joe biden? >> it's more about the survivors of gender violence. that's really what it's about. >> hill, an attorney, is now a professor of gender politics. she was 35 when she testified before biden's committee, accusing thomas of sexually harassing her when she worked for him at the equal employment opportunity commission. her testimony was graphic. >> he referred to the size of his own penis as being larger than normal.
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>> reporter: her motives d dissected. >> do you have a martyr complex? >> no, i don't. >> and additional witnesses who may have cooperated her story were never called to publicly testify. >> the idea that anyone who was saying what i had to say was going to be heard was just sort of out the window because the republicans were in control and joe biden lost control. >> some say you let the republicans take over. >> i don't think i did but the point is i wish i could have done it differently under the rules of order. i wish i could have done better for her. the truth is i believed her and i believed he should not be in the court. >> sexual harassment is a serious matter and in my view, any person guilty of this offense is unsuited to serve --
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>> biden led the floor fight against thomas and lost. >> as a black american, as far as i'm concerned, it is a high tech lynching. >> thomas denied the allegations and his supporters still seethed about the hearings. >> will the hill allegations, he said if these come out in the public, i will be your biggest defender. quite the opposite. it really happened. he repeatedly was saying one thing, talking out of one side of his mouth to one group and the other side to another. >> what does this tell you with joe biden? >> he's someone who wants to please everyone. >> when hill received a call from biden last year, she remained unsatisfied. >> what i heard on the phone call was an apology that went something like i'm very sorry if she felt she wasn't treated fairly. and, you know, an apology to be
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real and sincere has to take responsibility for harm. that was what i wanted to hear. that if i had done better, and this is joe biden speaking, if i had done better, maybe there would be less harassment in the workplace today. >> but hill has watched the vice president talk more about the hearings on tv and she says it's encouraging. >> she did not get a fair hearing. she did not get treated well. that's my responsibility. >> what it says to me is that maybe the next step is these are the things that i'm going to do to make it good. >> but the story of biden and women's issues is not just about hill. when the thomas hearings ended -- >> i was determined to do two things, one, make sure that
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never given would there not be women on the committee. that year i campaigned for dianne feinstein and carol moseley-braun on the condition they join the judiciary committee if they got elected. and they did. and i was determined to continue and finish writing and passing the violence against women act. >> it was an idea born one year before the thomas hearings, to beef up protections for women, including a provision allowing them to sue their attackers in federal court. >> some in the legal academy who decided that women in the 1950s were basically making up, there were fancy lawyers liberal and conservative who would say domestic violence is as american as apple pie, prominent liberal lawyers. >> overall the toll on women's lives and health is devastating. >> biden held senate hearings for victims to share their
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stories. >> and in 1983 my husband stabbed me 13 times and broke my neck while the police were on the scene. i nearly died and i am permanently paralyzed. >> they all had the same story. and what was the story? i don't believe. this doesn't happen. and they said they did not believe it was a crime. >> biden believed it was and spent four years pushing the bill. but it would ultimately take more than violence against women to get enough senators on board. so biden and president bill clinton looking for a win combined the issue with a comprehensive crime bill. >> at that time there was a large amount of concern about growing violent crime in the country. >> violent crime rates had been steadily rising for a decade and there was political pressure to do something.
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>> democrats felt like they needed to show they were tough on crime. >> violent crime had risen exponentially because of the crack issue. >> it was a political issue. >> no, it was a big danger. >> it was 30 billion, it had the assault ban in it. >> the bill passed with bipartisan support in 1994. but times have changed. while biden worked with the police unions to write that bill, he's now promising to reform policing. and he wants to fix other parts of the measure that democrat charge led to further mass incarcerations harming communities of color. >> that tough on crime phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected but destroyed
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peop people. >> the core of the bill was to criminalize behaviors that really should have been addressed through addiction services and employment services. >> i will accept responsibility for what went right but i will also accept responsibility for what went wrong. >> biden says the obama administration worked to reduce the prison population and reverse mandatory minimum sentences and he wants to do more. >> we have to change the prison system from one of punishment to rehabilitation. >> so is this political expediency or a true change of heart? >> is this a true evolution or is this flip-flopping. we have this weird thing where we really want the person to be bleaching believing what they're doing. that's not what politicians do. the politics have changed.
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he's reading what we want in this moment and deliver in this moment. >> biden has found himself apologizing and rethinking, not only on the crime bill and not on to anita hill but to a group of women who said he made them uncomfortable by being too handsy. >> the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and i get it, i get it. i hear what they're saying. i understand it. and i'll be much more mindful. >> anita hill, for one, decided before the election to believe biden has changed. do you find some irony that i'm going to vote for joe biden and that i might want to work with him him? >> do i think it ironic? yes. but this is not just about me. it no t it's not just about joe biden. it's about millions of people in this country and around the world that we can be a model
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for. and i would love to be a part of that. and if it means voting for joe biden, so be it. >> up next, joe biden changes his mind. >> the iraq vote was a mistake. ...and unique needs. your lips are like no others and need a lip routine that's just right for you. chapstick® has you covered. chapstick®. put your lips first®. did you know prilosec otc can stop frequent heartburn before it begins? prilosec otc uses a unique delayed-release formula that works to turn down acid production, blocking heartburn at the source. with just one pill a day, you get 24-hour heartburn protection. take the prilosec otc two-week challenge. and see the difference for yourself. prilosec otc, 1 pill a day, 24 hours, zero heartburn.
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by the early 2000s, joe biden had one of the prime political perches in washington. even before he was chairman, he spent decades traveling the globe, becoming a student of arms control and personally connecting. >> the focus he brings to it is always how do i put myself in the other person's shoes. >> he also talked blunt talk. one example was what he told slobodan milosevic. >> i pointed out that genocide was talking. i had to come to a you know what
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meeting with milosevic and i said i'm going to spend the rest of my time seeing him as a war criminal. >> we had a private dinner. karzai hosted it. karzai lit into the united states. biden looked at him and came down on the table like that and said "this dinner's over." >> that's it? >> that's it. and he walked out. well, i guess the dinner is over. >> that was 2008 and biden's clear signal to karzai was shape up. back in 2001 after 9/11, biden had backed karzai in backing a new government and supported george w. bush's invasion into afghanistan. and a year later, biden also supported the bush administration when it turned
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toward a new target, iraq, looking to stomp out terrorism there. >> by seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. >> these weapons must be dislodged from saddam hussein or saddam hussein must be dislodged from power. >> why did joe biden vote for the resolution? >> voting for the resolution is one thing. voting for war is another. he voted for tough diplomacy. the inspectors went back in and they were doing their job and bush went to war anyway. >> it's the hard thing to say when you're given an authorization of force. that's not tough diplomacy. that's hard power and not soft power. diplomacy is soft power. so i don't buy that. >> there were no weapons of mass destruction. >> good to see you. >> joe biden and dick lugar and i were the first senators into baghdad. and after a couple years, it
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became clear to him that this was going nowhere. >> the iraq vote was a mistake. >> it's a vote that has dogged him for years from both sides. >> i did everything i could to prevent that war. jove s joe saw it differently. >> why do you think he changed his mind? >> the same reason hillary clinton changed her mind and others would. if it had been a huge success, nobody would be regretting their vote. >> can you explain when you use force? >> when there is a vital u.s. interest at stakes or when we have a treaty obligation that we committed and would keep. conversely i'm not going to send my kid or anybody else's child where our interests are not essential and where we cannot get it done. >> so the man who voted against the first iraq war in 1991 and nen chan
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then changed his mind about the second iraq war deciding it was a disaster ran for president in 2008 to end it. >> i wanted him to run and the kids said, you know, dad has to run. and i felt that joe would be the only one who could end that war. >> are you running for president? >> i am running for president. i'm going to be joe biden and be the best biden i can be. >> it wasn't enough. >> we just made a gigantic m miscalculation. that is once obama caught on, there wasn't room on the track except hillary and obama. >> we were doing so well. collectively i think we had 2%. >> but it wasn't just the competition that sidelined biden, although the competition was formidable. it was biden himself. even on dave one talking about barack obama. >> you got the first sort of
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mainstream african-american, who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy. that's a story book. >> it was unfortunate because it was his announcement day and he was simply trying to complemeim senator obama. >> it didn't come off that way and it was classic careless biden. >> let me tell you something. i spoke to barack obama today. >> i bet you did. >> to this day his words can be cringe worthy and sometimes problematic. >> if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or trump, then you're not block. >> does he talk all the time? >> yes, constantly.
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all the time. there is no ability to affect that. so you kind of just got to go with the flow. >> certainly on the flow of the senate, he could go on for long, long periods of time. >> why is that a steady critique of you? >> because probably i talk too much sometimes. >> after biden's campaign collapsed wrong windedness took a back seat as obama considered him as a running mate. >> he was joe biden with 36 years in the unsenaited states senate. >> and 36 years of being his own boss. >> he was a senate man. >> when he asked me if i would do it, i said no. i thought i could help him more as chairman of the foreign races committ committee. >> he called me and said that's
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great. he said i don't know, i don't know jill. so i got the family together to talk about it. >> the president of the united states want you to run with him and you said no, honey? >> game, set, match. all over. it was like the hand to god. >> ladies and gentlemen, my friend, barack obama, the next president of the united states of america! >> from that moment on biden was all in, as long as he could have weekly meetings with the president and certain of as his chief adviser on all matters. >> biden said i don't want a portfolio. all i want know is that when you make the big decisions that i'm going to be in the room and obama joked, well, i want your advice, joe. i just want it in ten-minute increments, not 60 minute increments. >> for decades he's brought change to washington but washington hasn't changed him.
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>> so the man of the senate, the two-time presidential also ran finally became a winner, alongside a partner who was at the top of the ticket. >> this is a moment so many people have been waiting for. >> i want to thank my partner on this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, the vice president-elect of the united states, joe biden. [ cheers and applause ] well, actually now, new and existing customers can get our best smartphone deal. it's historic. that is historic. which means... i'm making history, right? yea, i don't know if i'd exactly sa- wow. me, dave brown. existing customer who got the greatest deal in history. just like every other customer gets... oh that's cool too. it's not complicated. at&t is making history. everyone gets our best smartphone deals.
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in january 2009, vice president joe biden swore on his family bible to defend the constitution. >> against all enemies foreign and domestic. >> biden was obama's tom adviser without portfolio but his job quickly began with one huge assignment -- economic recovery. >> 2.6 million jobs lost in 2008, the largest one-year drop since 1945.
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>> the global economy, our economy, is sinking. >> the view through the windshield was the ground and the economy was just going straight down. >> the obama administration proposed a massive stimulus bill by 2009 standards. >> in the senate it faced a filibuster and that meant we needed three republican votes to get it passed. it fell on joe biden's lap to go up to capitol hill to persuade those three republicans. >> so on behalf of our country and its people, mr. president, let me presume to say thank you. we owe you a great deal. >> so just four weeks after the inauguration, the administration pumped $787 billion into a teetering economy. it was risky business, with some
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democrats complaining it wasn't enough and republicans arguing it was too large. >> we have no assurance it will create jobs or revive the economy. in short, we're taking an enormous risk, an enormous risk with other people's money. >> the president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> i've asked vice president biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort because nobody messes with joe. are. >> to implement the stimulus, it had to be free of any problem, scandal, and had to be fast and furious, but no problems and no slip ups. >> over the next seven years, the and good morning, folks. how are you? >> the fonl years biden was on the hill again, this time to
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help find the votes for the faur faurkt. >> but in the end biden may be remembered as much for what who is -- he said. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states barack obama obama. >> and then there was the time he announced his own support for gay marriage on a sunday show. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women are entitled to the same exact rights. >> but biden's utility went beyond domestic policy as obama tasked him to handle assignments in afghanistan and also iraq,
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washt where the administration had promised to end the war. >> president-elect obama said why don't you go to iraq to get the freshest information. >> biden returned from the trip and believed it was a complete mess. >> there was no unity of purpose and he said the first thing we need do is make sure we have clear set of objectives and a clear strategy and that everyone agrees on it. >> one point of agreement was that the first order of business was sending 25,000 additional troops to afghanistan to assure the country's upcoming elections would be fair. but then came a request for even more troops. >> based on an assessment by the new commander inley crystal, e
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and asked for another 40,000 troops. >> the military brass were on board but not biden, who clearly never stopped asking questions and clearly got on their nerves. >> the vice president is saying to that vast array of experienced people, stop, wait a minute, we have to rethink this. >> i think he was saying slow down, there's no rush to judgment here. >> so the vice president would play as like to say the skunk at the picnic. he would be the bad cop, he would be the one pressing the military. why do you need that many resources? i don't believe that. explain that. >> i would be the one taking them on. the president was new, they knew he didn't have foreign policy experience and if they went after him and it was a mistake, it would be a very costly mistake. >> and it became total complicity with president obama. they would confer before the
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meetings and the president would say, joe, it would be great if you pushed on this or focused on that or prodded on that. that allowed the president to kind of not show his cards, to sit back, to hear everyone out. >> the debates inside the situation room grew more and more tense, especially with the military brass. >> there's always an attitude that we're the ones who put our lives on the line, we are the military experts. we expect that when we make a recommendation that you'll give deference to those that have military experience. angd the vice preside and the vice president is not one to do that. that's why some have been critical of joe biden. >> one source of the tense was biden's motion towards
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terrorists. >> one reason is it has do with al qaeda and terrorists who can reach out of afghanistan and strike us or strike our allies. he was laser focused on the terrorism problem. >> and how many boolts on the grou -- boots on the ground would that have required? >> i think it was more along the line of 10,000 or 15,000. >> biden lost the fight, unable to convince obama, who opted instead for the pentagon plan. the president committed 30,000 troops and told the brass to get the additional 10,000 from allies. former defense secretary robert gates, who declined to be interviewed for this profile wrote this about biden in his memoir, quote, i think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades. but when asked about that quote this summer, gates chose to steer the conversation to his assessment of biden's character over their policy disputes. >> i have a lot of policy
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disagreements frankly with the former vice president, but i think one of the things that people will be weighing this fall is probably the character of the two contestants. >> good afternoon, folks. >> in 2010 biden was still looking for a way to end the iraq war. >> barack and i, who did he turn to to end the war? me. we're committed to building an enduring relationship between iraq and the united states. >> biden's goal, convince iraqi prime minister that the u.s. be allowed to leave a small military presence behind. but al ma al awlaki refused. >> president obama ran on ending
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wars. they didn't push hard because they wand to skidaddle and that's what they did. >> your dream of an independent iraq is now a reality. >> in 2011 the obama administration stuck to a schedule agreed to by president bush and withdrew. >> ultimately we paid a price for that. >> militant isis fighters are less than 40 miles away from the capital of baghdad. >> that ultimately forced the united states to go back in to iraq in order to make sure they didn't take over the entire country. >> so u.s. troops returned to fill the vacuum temporarily. but the controversy over the growth of isis still remains. up next, the biden who returned
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from iraq to face another battle. >> they say 1% of people survive. and we kept thinking why can't he be the 1%? - [announcer] welcome to intelligent indoor grilling with the ninja foodi smart xl grill. just pick your protein, select your doneness, and let the grill monitor your food. it also turns into an air fryer. bring outdoor grilling flavors indoors with the grill that grills for you. dear 2020, you had your time. (sigh...) now, it's our time. time to get away to a place where we can finally be free. free from boundaries... ...limitations. even virtual backgrounds. today, we break free.
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joining us from wilmington, delaware -- >> it was a monday in may just like any other, until it wasn't. >> criticism coming this morning about the choice of elena kagan to be the next supreme court justice. >> i'll never another get it. the vice president had gone home for the weekend and he was doing tv to support the president's nomination to the supreme court. >> we're joined by vice president joe biden. >> we got back to the vice president's house and suddenly there was this commotion behind us and fran person, who was the president's aide, body aide, stuck his head in the window and said beau's down. something's happened to beau. >> we were like what?
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the motorcade bolted behind us and took off. >> the vice president rushed to the hospital where his eldest son, 41-year-old beau, had been taken. >> nobody knew at that point was he even alive, what had happened. as the day progressed, the diagnosis was a stroke. i remember a moment in the hospital waiting room looking at the vice president and jill biden sitting together holding hands with just unbelievable anxiety and grief on their face and thinking this is so unfair that this would be happening to him after what he's been through. gradually the news got better that day and the stroke -- what they thought was a stroke resolved itself. >> it appeared resolved a week later when beau left the hospital, but it wasn't. the real problem would be hidden for three more years. can you describe biden's
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relationship with beau? >> incredibly close. it was more than just father/son. they were almost alter egos. >> you could just see the love and the pride, quiet and unspoken between them. he was such a humble, decent person, beau was. >> the natural person to introduce his father to the nation in 2008. >> please join me in welcoming my friend, my father, my hero, the next vice president of the united states, joe biden. >> beau served in iraq with the national guard. >> the attorney general of the state of delaware, beau biden. >> and he was the attorney general of delaware, contemplating a run for governor. he was bound for bigger things and not just bus of his last
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name. >> i thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me. >> he was the heir apparent but there was no question he could earn it himself. he was this incredible natural, right, who you just had to get out of the way and let him shine. >> you knew he would follow in his father's foot steps. i mean, he loved politics, even as a little boy. >> did you think he was going to run for president someday? >> oh, absolutely. absolutely. yeah. >> by 2013, beau biden was married with two young children. >> and then he had this incident while he was traveling with his family and ends up at the doctor's office and it was after that initial visit with the doctor that we heard from the vice president that he needed to see a specialist at md anderson in house on. >> md anderson, a top cancer hospital. >> do you remember when biden
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called you? >> yes, i do. you could tell from his voice that they had had a very challenging conversation with the doctor. >> the diagnosis was deadly, gleeio blastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. the chances for long-term survival, near zero. >> it was hard. i mean, it was hard. we just kept hope that he was going to make it. you know, they say 1% of people survive and we kept thinking, why can't he be the 1%? after the workday i would head to walter reed hospital, joe would head to walter reed. he would be there until 2 or 3 in the morning. and then he would come home, you know, grab a couple hours of sleep or fall asleep at beau's bedside and then shower and start the next day. >> i said to him i find it
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remarkable how you're able to deal with this. he said, you know, the reality is i've dealt with this before. i know how this story unfolds. >> friends and family say during this time he leaned heavily on his faith. >> i'd see him in meetings fingering his rosary beads. i knew he was praying for him. joe on occasion would come in to st. ann's or st. patrick's, he'd come in after mass had started and just slip in the back with his detail and be there, and then he'd leave before it ended so he didn't disrupt everything. but i remember looking back and stealing a glance at one point and he just was praying. >> biden also got support from his boss. >> the only person i told about
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how bad off beau was and he kept the confidence was barack. >> for years the president and vice president had a weekly lunch appointment. and when beau got sick, the struggle became their shared conversation. did they become closer? >> they absolutely became closer. as people do, right, when they experience great life events to the -- together. >> so close that when the vice president mentioned he might sell his home to help his son, the president made a stunning offer. >> i said if beau resigns, there's nothing to fall back on, his salary. i worked it out, i said jill and i will sell the house and he'll be in good shape. he said don't sell the house, promise me you won't sell the house. he's going to be mad for me saying this but he said i'll give you the money. >> and while the father tried to
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help his son, his son tried to help his father. >> what beau was most afraid of was the impact it would have on his dad. that it would take his dad out. >> did he tell you that? >> oh, yeah, all the time. >> it's something he wrote about in his book "promise me dad." >> beau just made me promise, this was just before he died, he said, dad, you got to promise me you're going to be okay. he said, dad, look at me, look me in the eye, dad, give me your word as a biden, dad, you're going to be okay. >> are you okay? >> i am. because -- it is still emotional but i knew what he meant. he was worried i'd walk away from everything i did in my whole life. he knew i would take care of the
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family, but he didn't want me walking away. >> beau biden died on may 30th, 2015. he was 46 years old. >> beau biden was an original. he was a good man, a man of character, a man who loved deeply and was loved in return. >> is it true you keep beau's rosary with you? >> got it in my pocket. >> all the time? >> i keep it all the time. he had it when he passed away. it was more gold, you can see it's worn. >> that was the spring of 2015 and as ever in joe biden's life,
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another political deadline loomed. would he run for president again in 2016? >> we had a talk. he just kind of wanted -- you know, do you think i should run for president? it inevidently turned into a talk about beau. how would he get through it? >> when you left that meeting, did you think he was going to run? >> i thought he would really wrestle with it but he was not yet in a place where there was this floor. there was this moment where he started talking and you could see there was no bottom. there was just this hole. >> the decision wasn't just about beau. it was getting late in the race for the democratic nomination. hillary clinton had already captured key support and big money. >> have you made your decision yet? >> can't hear you. >> have you made your decision yet? >> and as biden wrote in his
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2017 memoir, obama's political team thought the race wasn't winnable and obama himself was not encouraging. and so -- >> as my family and i have worked through the grieving process, i've said all along that it may very well be that that process by the time we get through it closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. i've concluded it has closed. thank you all very much. >> joe biden was 73 years old, and it seemed that the presidency was out of reach for good. >> did he think it was over then, the notion of running for president? >> yeah. oh, yeah. >> then the president gave biden another job. >> last year vice president biden said that with a new moon
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shot america can cure cancer. >> obama gave biden his moon shot. >> so tonight i'm announcing a new national effort to get it done and because he's gone to the mat for all of us on so many issues over the past 40 years, i'm putting joe in charge of mission control. >> and then this -- >> i am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. >> with nearly 50 years of public service under his belt and the nation's highest civilian honor around his neck, joe biden thought his time in washington was over. up next -- >> beat trump. beat trump. beat trump.
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everybody. >> as the curtain dropped on the obama administration -- >> joe biden was beloved by everyone in this chamber, even those he drove crazy from time to time. >> republican senators who didn't want to talk with us about joe biden heaped praise on him. >> i do trust him implicitly. he doesn't break his word. he doesn't waste time telling me why i'm wrong. he gets down to brass tacks, and he keeps in sight the stakes. >> a retirement party senate style, where the compliments flowed freely because biden would never run again. even biden believed it. >> then along came charlottesville. >> you will not replace us! >> these people coming out of the fields with torches and con torted face, their veins bulging, spewing hate. >> but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. >> he said there were fine
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people on both sides, and i thought, god. >> that's why today i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> it was april 2019, and joe biden, then aged 76, had come full circle. from one of the youngest men ever elected to the senate, seeking to become the oldest person to take the presidential oath. donald trump clearly saw biden as a threat, so much so that he was impeached by the house. >> article two is adopted. >> over a phone call he had with the ukrainian president, asking him to investigate biden and his son hunter. >> what biden did is a disgrace. what his son did is a disgrace. >> at issue was hunter biden's five-year stint on the board of a ukrainian energy company, burisma, which began while his father was vice president. >> biden and his son are stone-cold crooked.
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>> president trump claimed joe biden used his considerable influence to force out a ukrainian prosecutor whom trump says was investigating hunter. >> he said, is that he wouldn't give -- i think it was billions of dollars to ukraine unless they fired the prosecutor who was looking at his son. >> there is zero evidence that this is true. biden did want the prosecutor fired, but that's because he was widely viewed as corrupt, and biden was leading an anti-corruption campaign backed by the u.s. and western allies. >> there was this ongoing relationship between hunter biden and the board and joe biden and the country of ukraine, and there are those who would say that on itself is a conflict of interest, you shouldn't do that. >> last year hunter biden told abc news he made a mistake. >> did i make a mistake? well, maybe in -- in the grand scheme of things, yeah. but did i make a mistake based upon some unethical lapse? absolutely not. >> do you ever think that you should have just told hunter to
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get off the board, even if it was only a matter of optics? >> optically, had i known earlier, i wish, you know, we both wish it hadn't happened that way. but the fact is all of the people that testified under oath in the impeachment hearings acknowledged that there wasn't a single thing biden did, either one, that was illegal, inappropriate. there's no evidence of that. but it would have been easier, it would have been a lot easier. >> the attacks clearly got under biden's skin. >> you're selling after the president like he was. >> you're a liar, that's not true and no one ever said that. >> and et cal questions continued to be raised by republicans. >> there's no way as a vice president i would let my son do that, no way. and i would make a point to make sure that it didn't happen because i just think that that is wrong. >> thank you. thank you, thank you. >> by february, democrats were heading to the polls and biden's
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fate was up to the voters. >> this 15.6 is a disappointment for biden, currently running fourth. >> fourth in iowa, fifth in new hampshire, soon came south carolina. >> and did you think that it was looking pretty bleak? >> yeah, i thought that. >> and so, just days before the primary, influential congressman jim clyburn, hoping to give biden a boost, endorsed him. >> but i want the public to know that i'm voting for joe biden. south carolina should be voting for joe biden. >> it worked, big time. >> sweeping blow-out win for the former vice president joe biden. 46 counties in south carolina, 46 county victories for joe biden. >> my buddy jim clyburn, you brought me back! >> you won by 29 points, and he wouldn't have done it without you. >> a man of enormous integrity. >> there's no doubt about that. >> well, some people say that.
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>> the decisive results in south carolina quickly collapsed the democratic field. >> they don't call super tuesday for nothing. so biden, who started the race as the front-runner, was back at the top of the heap and the world. but the next week covid forced him and everyone else down-to-earth and back inside their homes for months. >> travel restricted, school schultered, sports seasons totally cancelled. >> millions of jobs were lost, the death toll mounted. >> black lives matter. black lives matter. >> then came racial tension of george floyd at the hands of minneapolis police. >> i know what it means to have that black hole in your chest where your grief is sucked into it. >> empathy is joe biden's superpower, and he applies it to
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everything. i think he fully intends to apply it to the country and the challenges that we're facing right now. >> as biden continued to rise in the polls, trump's attacks dug deeper, taking on his opponent's acuity and age. >> they're going to put him in the home and other people are going to be running the country. >> trump and biden are contemporaries, both born in the 1940s, and biden is less than four years older than trump. >> look, he's almost -- he's approaching 80 years of age. i don't know of anybody that hasn't lost a step when you are approaching your 80th year, you do, and he has. >> all right. i got a plan. >> i think it is ridiculous. i mean if you follow joe, i mean he's usually the last one to leave a rally or a rope line, and then when he comes home he is on the phone, he's doing briefings. >> what do you say to people who watch you on tv and they say he's not the old biden i knew and he's lost a step after all
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of these years and it worries people? what do you say to those folks? >> watch me. i say watch me. good evening. >> more than 21 million people watched joe biden accept the democratic nomination. >> so it is with great honor and humility i accept this nomination for president of the united states of america. >> with his historic running mate kamala harris by his side, biden saw a ticket that looked like the future. republicans were quick to paint harris as part of the left wing, pulling her silver-haired elder in that direction, drawing a caricature of biden as an empty vessel captured by radicals. >> he is a trojan horse with bernie, aoc, pelosi, black lives matter, and his party's entire left wing. >> biden is a trojan horse for socialism. >> at his convention, biden saw himself as the man to lead the
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way out of the pandemic, by believing in science and understanding the pain it has caused. >> how mean, cruel and unfair life can be sometimes. >> and he made the case for a resilient america, moored by hope and decency. >> along with the calls for hope and light and love, hope for our future, light to see our way forward, and love for one another. >> there were two conventions, two alternate universes, two very different men. >> are joe biden and donald trump polar opposites? >> 100%. joe biden in character and in policies is the polar opposite of donald trump. >> and is that a good thing? >> 120% yes. and i think i'm shaving 10% or 15% off. it could be 150%. >> polar opposite. >> joe doesn't read his compassion off a teleprompter.
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>> do you see yourself as the polar opposite of donald trump? >> i hope so. cnn projects joseph r. biden jr. is elected the 46th president of the united states. >> and so the man who will be 46 began behaving as the polar opposite of 45, taking on the pandemic and not down playing it. >> i will spare no effort, none, or any commitment to turn around this pandemic. >> trying to unite the country, not divide it. >> folks, i will work as hard for those who didn't vote for me as those who did. >> and charting the nation on a very different course. >> let this grim era of demonization in america begin to end here and now.
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♪ bring me a higher love ♪ there's that higher love ♪ i keep thinking of ♪ ♪ bring me higher love [ cheers ] there are a few first ladies who really are milestones, cultural milestones. who help us understand what's going on in larger society. >> it took me some time doing a little dreaming to be standing right here today. >> she hasn't forgotten that journey and the challenges that she faced. >> when you have worked hard and done well and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that


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