Biden: It's Not Just Trump; 'It's...Bannon and the Alt Right I Find to Be Reprehensible'

By Susan Jones | November 14, 2017 | 5:51 AM EST

Former Vice President Joe Biden appears with an appreciative Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" Monday night, Nov. 13, 2017. (Photo: Screen grab/CBS)

( - Promoting his new book and apparently mulling a run for president in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden made the requisite stop on "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert Monday night.

The two men share an intense dislike of President Donald Trump, and that was were the interview began:

"Look, there are certain things that, when they occur, you just can't remain silent, and Charlottesville, for me, was a moment where I thought silence would be complicity," Biden said.


"The idea (that) you would see in America, in a historic city, Nazis carrying flags, spouting the same exact bile about Jews that was spouted in Germany in the '30s, and then these guys crawling out from under rocks with torches, and to not have an outright flat condemnation of that is, you know, what--

Look, (New York Times columnist) David Brooks talks about this invisible moral fabric that holds up society, and leaders impact on how that is perceived, and I thought the silence was deafening.

And then when the comparison was made to those who were protesting, I found it reprehensible. So I couldn't remain silent anymore. It...goes to the soul of the country, and it's not just the president. It's the -- it's all that surrounds this, and Bannon and the alt-right I find to be reprehensible. I mean, the inability to condemn hate--"

The audience applauded.

Colbert asked Biden how Trump has changed the presidency:


"I think it will, God willing, it will go down as the single exception in American history," Biden said, drawing more cheers and applause. Biden criticized "phony nationalism," and what he called an "us against them" mentality.

"I mean, I just think there's an attack on the system, and I think people are worried and, by the way, and it goes beyond President Trump, in my view. I just think it's a -- look, but for 74,500 votes or thereabouts, we wouldn't be having this conversation, we'd have a good president. We'd have a president who understands the role of the presidency. She would have been somebody who would, in fact, you know, weaved that fabric."

As for his own presidential ambitions, Biden wouldn't say. But he did talk about his new book, titled, "Promise Me, Dad," which goes on sale today.

"The reason I wrote the book, I wanted you all to know what an my son was." (Biden's son Beau died of cancer at age 46 in May 2015.) "Secondly, I wanted to give people hope that there is, through purpose, you can find your way through grief, and that's the purpose of the book."

Biden said Beau was worried that, "out of grief, I would turn inward, that I could take care of the family but I would step back from all the things I devoted my life to. And so that was the promise. Promise me, Dad, you're going to stay engaged. It wasn't promise me, Dad, you're going to run for president, which a lot of people are trying -- no, he really wanted me to run, but that wasn't the promise."

Asked if he is going to run for president, Biden said, "I want to focus on Beau and my grandkids and, you know, we'll see where it goes."

Biden said last week's election was a "wave election," where people sent the message that they've "had enough of this God-awful division. And I think people are -- I think it's gotten bad enough that people are now getting engaged again," he added.

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