Former Vice President Joe Biden said he vowed to give Donald Trump an “even shot” after the election, but the president’s response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, forced Biden to change his perspective.
“There are certain things that, when they occur, you just can’t remain silent, and Charlottesville, for me, was a moment where I thought silence would be complicity,” Biden said in an interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Monday.
“To not have an outright, flat condemnation of that … I thought the silence was deafening,” he added.
Biden said the violence surrounding a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August — including a car-ramming attack that left one person dead and 19 others injured — made him want to speak out against racism.
Trump faced harsh criticism from political leaders — Democrats and Republicans alike — over his initial response to the rally and his failure to call out neo-Nazis and other hate groups by name.
Asked if he thought Trump’s time in the Oval Office might influence future presidencies, Biden said, “I think it will, God willing, go down as the single exception in American history.”
“I mean, I just think there’s an attack on the system, and I think people are worried, and by the way, and it goes beyond President Trump, in my view,” he added.
Biden, who stopped by the show while on a press tour for his new book, “Promise Me, Dad,” refused to say if he would consider running for president in 2020.
“I want to focus on Beau and my grandkids. We’ll see where it goes,” he said, referring to his son who died of brain cancer in 2015.
Biden, 74, told NBC News’ “Today” show on Monday that he hadn’t made up his mind about whether to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
“I’m not closing the door. I’ve been around too long,” he said. “I’m a great respecter of fate.”
“But who knows what the situation is going to be a year and a half from now? I don’t have any idea,” he added.