Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles 2020

Joe Biden tells Stephen Colbert if he runs in 2020, he'll still be 'in better shape' at 77 than Donald Trump

The last time Vice President Joe Biden was on Stephen Colbert's Late Show, he had not yet decided to sit out the 2016 Democratic primary, and on Tuesday, Colbert asked Biden about his stated regrets. Colbert added that his specific regret that Biden did not run hit on Nov. 9, when Donald Trump won the presidential election.

"Let me be clear about the regret," Biden said. "I know I made the right decision for my family, I know I made the right decision. I'm not sure I would have been able to put my whole heart into it. But what I regret is the circumstance that [left] me not able to run," the death of his son, Beau. He said he did think he was the person best prepared to lead the country, but "the decision was the right decision for me to have made — and by the way, you know, I learned, you want to become the most popular guy in America? Announce you're not running. Announce you're not running, and boy, everything moves in a direction. So who the heck knows what would have happened if I'd run."

Colbert pointed out that Biden had just the day before said he is thinking about running for president in 2020, because, as he told a reporter, "What the hell, man." "I did that for one reason," Biden joked: "So I can announce now that I'm not running and be popular again." "So there's no way — you didn't mean that?" Colbert asked. "What the hell, vice president?" "I'm a great respecter of fate," Biden said. "I don't plan on running again, but to say you know what's going to happen in four years, I just think, is not rational." "That is the sound of a door creaking open," Colbert said, and Biden clarified: "I mean I can't see the circumstances in which I'd run, but what I've learned a long, long time ago, Stephen, is to never say never. You don't know what's going to happen. I mean, hell, Donald Trump's going to be 74, I'll be 77, in better shape, I mean what the hell?" So the presidential debates would definitively include an arm-wrestling section. Watch below. Peter Weber