Biden: President Obama 'Gave Me a Kiss' for Leading on Gay Marriage

By Susan Jones | October 11, 2019 | 5:28am EDT
Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues hosted by CNN and the Human rights Campaign Foundation in Los Angeles on October 10, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

( - At a CNN town hall on "LGBTQ Equality" Thursday night, Vice President Joe Biden recalled that in May 2012, just months before the November election that would give Barack Obama a second term, he told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he was "absolutely comfortable" with homosexual marriage.

Biden was credited with forcing then-President Obama to publicly admit his support for such marriages, amid concerns that such a stance might alienate voters.

However, far from being angry with Biden, Obama "gave me a kiss," Biden told CNN Thursday night. "I swear to God."

(To illustrate his point, Biden grabbed Anderson Cooper's shoulders and leaned in as though he were going to kiss moderator Anderson Cooper, who backed up a step.)

Cooper asked Biden, "I'm wondering in that moment, what made you say that at that time? Because you were ahead of your president."

"You know, it caused no consternation at all," Biden joked. "Barack knew my position."

Biden then explained how he arrived at his position as a very young man in the early 1960s.

He credited his father:

"I remember getting out of a car when I was trying to be dropped off at the local city hall to get a job to be the only white employee in the east side of town in the neighborhood, in the projects, as a lifeguard," Biden said.

"And as I got out, there were two guys in the corner in Rodney Square, they call it, which is the sort of corporate capital of the world. It's where the chancery court and all that is. And these two guys, well dressed -- this is back in 1960 -- probably 1963, and I'm revealing that I'm almost as old as you," he joked with Anderson Cooper.

"But look, as my dad was dropping me off so I could go around the block and run and get the application. And two well-dressed men kissed one another as I was opening the door. And I hadn't seen that before. And I turned around and one walked off to the DuPont building, one walked off to what used to be called the Hercules Corporation.

"And I looked at my dad, and he looked at me and said, 'It's simple, honey. They love each other. It's just basic. There is nothing complicated about it.' That's how I was raised, for real. And so for me (applause) -- for me, and Barack knew that. Barack knew that.

"And he knew that I was going to be a good boy until the administration moved unless I was asked, but you know me too well. You know that, you know, no one ever doubts I mean what I say. The problem is I sometimes say all that I mean."

Biden said his views of same-sex marriage was "sort of already out."

"I was already there. And so when I went on "Meet the Press" ... I answered the question honestly, and everybody thought that I had jumped the gun on the president. I didn't know the president was -- and his staff was-- thinking about -- in fact the president moving right after the election.

"And I got to tell you, he's a great guy -- I went in on Monday, and all the national press is saying Biden is really going to get nailed when he walks in and sees the president every morning. He got up, and he walked over to me and he said, 'Well, you told me.' He gave me a kiss. I swear to God.

"So anyway, but it was -- look, folks, it's kind of basic stuff, who you love."


MRC Store