Former President Barack Obama praised his former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday, asserting the country was better off since he took office as president of the United States.
“The country is better off than when you first took office,” Obama said, flattering his former vice president. “And we should all be deeply grateful for that.”
Obama spoke as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden hosted the former president and former first lady Michelle Obama at the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits.
“Joe, it is America’s good fortune to have you as president,” the former president said. “You guided us through some perilous times, you built on and beyond the work we began together.”
An August poll, however, showed that Americans feel differently, as 74 percent feel the country is on the wrong track.
Obama noted approvingly there were many of his own former political staffers working for Biden.
“I’m especially glad to see so many of you serving President Biden as well as you served me,” he said.
He added wryly that the staffers working for Biden “were kids back then and now in charge and running the show, which is a little shocking.”
Obama joked he missed Air Force One but also said he missed spending time with hard-working idealistic people working to make the world a better place.
“You inspired me and I never wanted to disappoint you,” he said.
Biden also praised Obama, thanking him for serving as an example for his own presidency.
“There are few people I have known with more integrity, decency, and moral courage than Barack Obama,” he said. “Mr. President, nothing could have prepared me better or more to become President of the United States than to be at your side for eight years.”