In a meeting Thursday with newly sworn-in Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales—a comedic television actor who has never before served in public office—Vice President Joe Biden joked that his own constituents thought he perhaps should run for office in Guatemala.
“I spend so much time in matters relating to this area, my constituents are beginning to think that maybe I should run for office here,” Biden said, according to the official White House transcript of the meeting.
“But I’m here to support you,” Biden said.
Morales was elected president of Guatemala in October, running as an anti-corruption candidate, and he was sworn in yesterday. His predecessor as president resigned in September in the midst of a corruption scandal.
“After prosecutors named President Otto Pérez Molina as the leader of a plot to lower import duties in exchange for bribes, protesters demanding ‘justice now’ forced him to step down on Sept. 2, as his last political allies abandoned him,” the New York Times reported on Oct. 26, the day after Morales was elected. “A retired army general, Mr. Pérez Molina has been confined to a military barracks while pretrial proceedings continue.”
Here is an excerpt from the transcript of Vice President Biden’s remarks to newly sworn-in President Morales that was posted on the White House website:
Vice President Biden: … You and I are public servants. We're elected officials. And we know public opinion matters a lot. The situation in our border deteriorates to what it was in 2014, there will be no possibility of this happening. You have a genuine case. Reality is real. It may get worse in 2016. I personally promise you I will work again on it, see where we can go. And I spend so much time in matters relating to this area, my constituents are beginning to think that maybe I should run for office here. (Laughter.) But I’m here to support you. And again, congratulations.