Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden had a pretty funny response when Stephen Colbert straight up asked him “are you going nuts?” during a discussion of Biden’s tendency to make embarrassing blunders when speaking — or rather, he had a pretty great response for Jimmy Kimmel.
In a segment from tonight’s episode featuring Biden’s first late night appearance since announcing his run for president, “The Late Show” host ran down Biden’s recent string of gaffes. Among other things these errors have included an inaccurate war story he told while campaigning, mistakenly saying that Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King died during the late 1970s, and confusing Vermont and New Hampshire.
Running all that down, Colbert noted Biden also recently said “I’m not going nuts,” prompting Colbert to ask if he actually is going nuts. Biden’s reply: “Look, the reason I came on the Jimmy Kimmel show was because I’m not.” Zing!
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Yeah, it feels like a punchline Biden’s team worked up in advance — just the kind of self deprecating humor that can win skeptics over. But credit where credit is due, it’s a pretty good joke, so we’ll take it.
The conversation got a little more serious from there. Biden said he thinks “it’s fair to go after a political figure for anything. We stand up and that comes with the territory.”
But, he continued, “any gaffe that I have made, and I’ve made gaffes like every politician I know has, have been not about a substantive issue, [but] been about other — I’m trying to talk about what other people have done.”
Biden the directly addressed the reaction to his story about the time he pinned a medal on a soldier in Afghanistan, an event that never actually happened (according to the Washington Post, Biden essentially confused elements from three different true stories as one story).
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Colbert responded by pointing out the Post’s findings and added, “All of those were fact-checks for you, and you said that details don’t matter, or the details aren’t important.” (Biden had told NPR on Tuesday that “the details are irrelevant when it comes to decision-Joe Biden Says the ‘Essence’ of an Inaccurate War Story He Told Was ‘Absolutely True’making” when asked about his false war story.)
“I was not talking about me. I was praising what the valor of all these people out there that I’ve visited in over 20 visits in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Biden responded. “It’s a different thing to say when you’re talking about honoring the bravery or the sacrifice or what other people went through, and the essence of it is absolutely true.”
“I don’t get wrong things like, you know, we should lock kids up in cages at the border,” the former vice president concluded.
Colbert’s full interview with Biden will air on Wednesday night at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Watch the discussion of Biden’s gaffes below:
TONIGHT: Stephen holds former VP @JoeBiden's feet to the fire over his recent string of gaffes on the campaign trail. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/qQ8rrvdGgb
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) September 5, 2019