Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday evening that he viewed himself as a “transition” candidate. He added that he wanted “to bring the Mayor Petes of the world into this administration.”
The quote was first reported by pool reporter Madeleine Rivera, who was covering a virtual fundraiser co-hosted by former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Biden, during a virtual fundraiser tonight, praised @PeteButtigieg (who co-hosted the event) for his leadership. Biden called himself a “transition candidate to bring the Mayor Petes of the world into this administration.”
— Madeleine Rivera (@madeleinerivera) May 1, 2020
On Friday, Biden was asked about his comment during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe (in which he denied former Senate aide Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault against him). He said:
MSNBC: Mr. Vice President, you made a comment last night in an interview with Bob Costa of the Washington Post [sic] where you said, “I view myself as a transition candidate making way for the Mayor Petes of the world to come into my administration.” Some people read that as you saying, you were sort of a placeholder, and that don’t worry, I’m going to open the door to this more progressive movement, perhaps led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others. What did you mean when you called yourself a “transition candidate”?
Biden: It doesn’t have to do with philosophy. It has to do with, we have not given a bench to younger people in the party, the opportunity to have the focus and be in focus for the rest of the country. There’s an incredible group of talented, newer, younger people. I ran this time because I think the issues that are before us happen to be my wheelhouse. They — I said from the beginning, we’re going to inherit a divided country, as well as a world in disarray. They are the two things I’ve worked on my whole life. I’ve been able to get things done in the United States Senate and as vice president with the other party, without making them the enemy, and get things done. Unless we can reach consensus, this democracy is in trouble.
Buttigieg dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden on March 1. He was viewed with suspicion by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whom he narrowly defeated in the delegate race in the Iowa caucuses and whom he only lost to in the New Hampshire primary by 2 points.
After Sanders trounced all other candidates in the Nevada caucus Feb. 22, Buttigieg delivered a concession speech in which he warned: “Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.