December 21st, 2007
11:30 AM ET
8 years ago

Biden gets personal, discusses tragic loss

Watch Sen. Biden's entire Situation Room interview.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Joseph Biden’s appearance on CNN’s The Situation Room took a personal turn when Suzanne Malveaux asked the Democratic presidential candidate how he weathered the loss of his wife and young daughter in a 1972 car accident.

“The way I got through it – I have an incredible family,” Biden told Malveaux. “Everyone was there to help me. They were there constantly,” added Biden explaining how his sister, brother, mother and other relatives rallied around him to help him raise his two young sons who survived the car accident, but were badly injured.

“Tragedies like that either make you stronger or make you weaker,” said Biden. “And what it’s taught me is, I can handle anything.”

In his autobiography “Promises to Keep,” released earlier this year, Biden reflected on the tragedy. “I began to understand how despair led people to just cash it in; how suicide wasn’t just an option but a rational option,” wrote Biden.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart


Filed under: Iraq • Joe Biden • The Situation Room
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Daniel 6, Philadelphia PA.

    This man is the real deal. He is type of leadership this country needs. The next president must be prepared to hit the ground running. Biden can get votes on both sides of the isle. That is what it takes to get things done.

    December 21, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Wyatt Medford,Oregon

    Biden what a great candidate, the only one in my humble opinion worthy of the position.

    December 21, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. David, Bay Area, CA

    The only candidates who really have qualifying experience in this election are Biden, Richardson, Romney, and McCain. I guess they just don't all have the star power of Clinton, Obama, or Guiliani.

    December 21, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Susan

    I really like this guy. I'm sorry he's not getting more press. He and Hillary and Bill Richardson are the only candidates with the solid experience needed. NOT OBAMA!

    December 21, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. corey biscieglia egg harbor twp, nj

    I dont understand why people arent takeing a more serious look at putting this man in the white house, if we ever needed someone to save this country Joe Biden is the person.

    December 21, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. AJ, IL

    Biden is a good guy but a long-time Washington fixture as well. Think about it, he has not been polling well in the primary states as well as nationally. Then he decides to talk about his tragedic family loss with less than 2 weeks of Iowa caucaus voting. Looks like he is going for the sympathy vote.

    December 21, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  7. Dan, Birmingham, AL

    I've got a feeling Iowans are gonna put this guy in third on Jan. 3. The news media remains determined to ignore him for the most part, but it'll be tough to after a good showing in the caucus.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but besides Obama, no other Dem. candidate has consistently gained traction in various polls - albeit slow-moving - than Biden.

    Something's in the works... people who haven't been giving him much of a look are going to flip out when they notice who they've been passing on all this time.

    December 21, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  8. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    Ok, a sympathy vote never hurt.

    December 22, 2007 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  9. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    I wish he would reconsider being Hillary's VP

    December 22, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  10. mark wilkes barre pa

    Haters !!!!!!! I am asking you to leave this story alone,,,, I am a life time republican and I am telling you it would be wrong,, and not necessary

    December 22, 2007 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  11. MS Johnson City, TN

    Sorry to know about Sen. Biden's family tragedy.

    He is the best candidate Democrats have. But the Establishment that sacrificed Sen. Kerry in the last presidential election to make way for Hillary will not give him time of the day.

    I wrote off Sen. Biden when he started talking about breaking Iraq into three pieces. That told me that this "best and the brightest" reads from playbook of the British, and they are despised pretty much everywhere they ruled.

    Sen. Biden doesn't need to worry about my vote. I am not a Democrat. And I don't have to worry about him breaking Iraq because our next president Ron Paul is not into breaking up other countries.

    December 22, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. Dan, Birmingham, AL

    What's going on here? The Giuliani story ("Giuliani sees doctor...") had 0 comments late last night, now has 14... but there are still no more than 2 comments on this one?

    I posted a reply around 10-11 p.m. and neither mine nor any other comments have appeared.

    There were no obscenities in my remarks and they were fairly brief... what gives? I understand everything is moderated, but again - why faster approval on the Giuliani comments )(and others) and not comments for this story?

    December 22, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. LQ Rochester MN

    I agree. I wish he would get more media attention.
    Biden could be just what this country needs.
    You certainly aren't going to find anyone with more experience!!

    December 22, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. GRACE, SUN CITY CENTER, FL

    I'M GLAD SENATOR BIDEN CAN HANDLE
    PERSONAL TRAGEDY....
    I ONLY WISH HE HAD MORE RESPECT FOR
    THE SOVEREGNTY OF OTHER COUNTRIES.
    PARTITION IRAQ...???? I HOPE NO OTHER
    AGGRESSIVE NATION DECIDES THAT WE HAVE
    TO DIVIDE THE U.S. INTO 3 PARTS... SO
    WE LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES AND
    INDEPENDENTS DON'T FIGHT. STOP NATION
    BUILDING... THERE'S NOTHING IN OUR
    CONSTITUTION THAT PROVIDES FOR IT.
    ....ON SECOND THOUGHT... BIDEN MIGHT
    WANT TO DIVIDE UP THE U.S..... MAYBE
    CHRISTIANS, JEWS AND AGNOSTICS...
    HOW 'BOUT IT JOE?

    December 22, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  15. Sam IA

    Dan, Birmingham. Apparently whoever is doing the vetting on these comments has an agenda of thier own. For the past week perhaps one of six of my comments has been posted. Hopefully this individual has a few weeks off for the holidays. GO JOE!!!!!

    December 23, 2007 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  16. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    i wish the american public were mature enough to vote for a man like this. but instead they will vote for whoever they hear about the most while surfing the channels. because god forbid they would research the candidates....i would vote for biden more then any other candidate

    December 24, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    Ms JOhnson & Grace

    i will pretend like you are 2 different people and say cutting iraq 3 ways would make a lot of sense if you RESEARCH it instead of just thinking hes talking about imperialism. the country was created like 50 years ago and the iraqi people could care less about it!!! there is shiite, sunni and kurds that would love to have there OWN countries. they will not co-exist. tell me who you would vote for that has a better plan then this?

    December 24, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    GRACE, SUN CITY CENTER, FL

    what your saying is apples and oranges i dont think youve researched anything that is going on in these countries its not like our little aruments over blogs between liberals and conservatives. these people cant co-exist they kill eachother. its not just some people that have different opinions. these people are brainwashed beyond belief. no pun intended

    December 24, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Jerry in Phoenix

    Joe Biden is by far the most experienced, truthful, and level headed candidate on either side of the spectrum. Joe can provide this country with competent and thoughtful leadership.

    January 1, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Marie in LA

    GRACE SUN CITY...do you know that the 'countries' in the middle east are in many cases a result of arbitrary 'drawing' of borders by other countries with interests in the region? Shi'as and Sunnis are not trying to live together peacefully...so making the analogy about conservatives and liberals is just not correct. Dividing Iraq actually reflects the desire of its people more so than an enforced, US-brand democracy that unites this 'country' of warring factions.

    January 2, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  21. Dokbianknib

    Hi there,
    Is everything fine? What's going on?

    January 2, 2008 03:17 am at 3:17 am |