On his third night as the new host of the Late Show, Stephen Colbert welcomed guest Joe Biden, with an audience enthusiastically chanting the vice president’s name. The appearance had supporters hoping for a campaign announcement and Colbert wasted no time addressing the topic.

“I want to talk about the elephant in the room, which in this case is a donkey,” he said. “Do you have anything you would like to tell us right now about your plans?” “Yes,” replied Biden. “I think you should run for president again,” he joked, in reference to Colbert’s faux presidential campaign run in 2012. “And I’ll be your vice president.”

While Biden did not officially reject the prospect of a bid, he did express doubt. After Colbert brought up Biden’s recent statements on himself not being emotionally prepared to enter the presidential race, the vice president offered a serious explanation. “I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and two, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion.’ And I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I’m being completely honest. Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are.” According to Deadline, this was the first interview Biden has given since his son Beau passed away from brain cancer in May.

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“I know that is an emotional decision you have to make, but it’s going to be emotional for a lot of people if you don’t run,” Colbert pressed. “I think that your experience and your example of suffering and service is something that would be sorely missed in the race.” Colbert continued, “Not that there aren’t good people on both sides running, but I think we would all be very happy if you did run. And if you don’t, I know that your service to the country is something we should all salute.”


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

Image via CBS.