Vice President Joe Biden was in a philosophical mood after an emotional day on Capitol Hill when a bill was named after his son, Beau, who died of cancer last year.
A senator for 36 years before becoming vice president, Biden was emotional after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a friend, got the Senate to name a portion of the 21st Century Cures Bill after Beau Biden. Biden was asked about his future plans while chatting with NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell and other reporters after presiding over Senate debate on the bill.
O'Donnell: “And, sir, because you are going in to these final days of your time in office, does that add to the emotion you feel?”
Biden: “I hadn't thought about it in that rational way, but I guess so. I mean, my staff always kids me, every time I come up here I feel invigorated. I love this place, I mean, this is, this is where I spent my life...”
Reporter: “Are you going to run again?”
Biden: “Yeah, I am. I am going to run in 2020 so uh, but..”
Reporter: “For what?”
Biden: “For president. And also, what the hell man, anyway.”
O'Donnell: “We're going to run with that. sir, you know...”
Biden: “That's OK, that's OK. No, but I've enjoyed every minute of my time here in the Senate. And it's a great feeling to come back. I love this place.”
Reporter: “Just to be clear, were you kidding about running for president in 2020?”
Biden: “I'm just, I'm not committing not to run. I'm not committing to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening.”
Biden, who turned 74 last month, will turn 78 shortly after the 2020 election. Ronald Reagan was just a few days short of turning 78 when he left office in January 1989, making him the oldest person to serve as president.
The vice president decided to not seek the White House in 2015 and instead backed this year's eventual Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He ran unsuccessfully for his party's nomination in 2008, when now-President Barack Obama selected him as his running mate, and in 1988.