Stephen Colbert released an extended interview with former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, nearly five years after the candidate was a guest on the very first week of Colbert’s Late Show hosting stint.
In that interview, Biden explained how he was not prepared to run for president in 2016 due to the recent death of his son, Beau Biden, from brain cancer. And on Thursday night, toward the end of the 50-minute conversation, the topic once more turned to grief, this time in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pointing out Beau’s folded-up military flag displayed behind Biden, Colbert said, “The American people look to you as a figure who understands suffering, who understands pain of the heart and the soul and what’s required to overcome that. And while we all know we’re in a crisis, not just nationally but globally, not enough attention is really being paid to the necessity for grief right now — for the grief of the loss of close to 100,000 people so far.”
Taking a swipe at President Trump’s lack of attention to grief, along with his other mishandlings of the pandemic, Colbert asked Biden what he would say to everyone in America who has no outlet for their grief right now.
“You’ve got to remember, over time, that they’re still part of you, they’re your heart, they’re your soul,” Biden responded, getting visibly emotional when discussing his son. “It’s who you are, it’s this connection that is real, and the only way I know for me how to get through it is to find purpose.”
In the extended interview, the two also touch on wearing masks in public, Biden’s plans for beating Trump, and the search for a woman running mate. Notably, Colbert avoided asking Biden about former Senate staffer Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault against him.