Biden: 'Whether or Not I'm Your Nominee...'

By Susan Jones | July 5, 2019 | 6:34am EDT
Former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden shades his eyes at a campaign event in sunny Marshalltown, Iowa on July 4, 2019. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

( - Former Vice President Joe Biden, now making a third run for his party's presidential nomination, seemed to raise the possibility that he may not make it this time, either.

In a Fourth of July speech in Iowa, Biden told the crowd, "If Donald Trump has eight years in the White House, he's going to forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. And we can't let that happen, period," Biden said to applause.

"Whether or not I'm your nominee, and I hope I will be your nominee, I'm going to work like the devil, whoever the nominee is if it's not me, to see to it that doesn't happen..."

'Come on, man!'

In an exclusive interview with CNN that aired Friday, Chris Cuomo told Biden that Democrats need a "warrior" to go up against Trump, because "this president knows how to fight in the ring one on one."

Cuomo asked Biden, "How can Democrats have confidence that you can take on the biggest and the baddest when you're having trouble sparring (with members of his own party on the debate stage):

"I don't think I'm having trouble sparring," Biden responded. "It's how you want to spar."

"Look, I'm the guy, at the time everybody talks about things they change. I took on same-sex marriage. I took on a whole range of issues, I took on arms control. I took on dealing with Russia with the arms control agreement. I took on Putin in terms of Iraq -- I mean, excuse me, in terms of what was going on in Ukraine. I've taken on these leaders around the world. I'm the guy that's gone in and met them. I've taken on all these things.

"I mean, this is ironic. I've never been accused of being -- not being able to spar. I've been accused of being too aggressive."

"But the game has changed," Cuomo told Biden. He noted that Kamala Harris's criticism of Biden is nothing compared to what Trump will do

"No, but everybody knows who this guy is. Come on, man! Come on!" Biden said.

"How do you beat him?" Cuomo asked.

"I beat him by just pointing out who I am, and who he is, what we're for and what he's against. This guy's a divider-in-chief. This guy is acting with racist policies. This guy is moving to foment hate. It's the only way he can sustain himself.”

“Nothing about him worries you?” Cuomo asked.

"Sure it worries me, in the sense that I'm looking forward to this, man. You walk behind me in a debate -- come here, man. What do you think I -- you know me too well.

“I mean, the idea that I'd be intimidated by Donald Trump? He's the bully that I knew my whole life. He's the bully that I've always stood up to. He's the bully used to make fun when I was a kid and would stutter and I'd smack them in the mouth,” Biden said.

“I think the American people want a president who has some dignity, who has a value set, who is actually trying to restore the soul of this country so when they turn on the television they look up and their kids say, 'I want to be like that guy or that woman.'"

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