Stephen Colbert traveled to Delaware to interview President-elect Joe Biden and incoming first lady Dr. Jill Biden for Thursday’s Late Show, and he started by asking what President Biden is “going to put into the world?” Biden noted that America is sharply divided, but said “I think the nation — and I don’t think I’m kidding myself, I got criticized from the beginning for saying this — I think the nation’s looking for us to be united, much more united. We don’t have to have this. Politics has become so, sort of, dirty and vicious and personal and mean and clenched fist instead of an open hand. And I think people are looking for us to come together.”
Colbert asked Biden if he takes it personally that so many Republicans “haven’t acknowledge your win,” and Biden said no. “Look, they’re in a tough spot,” he said. “A number of them sent messages to me four weeks ago: ‘Give me time, Joe. Give me some time.’ It’s fine by me, it’s fine by me. We won! We won Georgia three times.”
Colbert pointed to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who, he noted, has said some really nice things about Biden. “Do you think you guys can patch it up and work together?” he asked. “Lindsey’s been a personal disappointment, because I was a personal friend of his.” Biden said. “But look, I think I can work with Republican leadership in the House and the Senate. I think we can get things done. And I think once this president is no longer in office, I think you’re going to see his impact on the body politic fade, and a lot of these Republicans are going to feel they’ve got much more room to run and cooperate.”
“Is there anything about your predecessor, the current president, that you could thank him for sincerely?” Colbert asked. Biden found one thing.
Colbert showed a clip of his first sit-down with Biden, from The Colbert Report, in the opening segment. But the most famous interview he did with Biden was in 2015, when they bonded over loss and grief. Biden brought that up when Colbert asked him about the role a president can play in helping the U.S. process and mourn the loss of 300,000-plus people to COVID-19. Watch that, plus Biden talking about his congratulatory phone call from Pope Francis and being the second Catholic president, below.
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