April 22nd, 2010
03:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Biden opens up about stuttering, marriage

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/22/art.biden2.gi.jpg caption="Vice President Biden opened up to the ladies of 'The View' on Thursday."]
(CNN) - If there's one thing that Vice President Joe Biden can't be accused of, it's holding back on what he really feels - or his personal life.

And he didn't disappoint on Thursday when he sat down with the ladies of ABC's "The View."

In an emotional moment, the former Democratic senator from Delaware opened up about a personal affliction that he has worked through: stuttering.

"When you stutter, it's the most debilitating thing," he said. "It's hard to ask 'will you go to the pr-pr-pr-pr-prom.' They look at and go 'this guy must be an idiot.'"

Biden said he would practice speaking in front of a mirror and worked to get a rhythm going so he wouldn't contort his face while stuttering. He also credited public speaking courses in college for helping him.

The interview was mostly light-hearted. Many had expected that resident conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck would grill the No. 2 Democrat about a bevy of issues. That wasn't the case.

Biden's marriage was also fair game for the mid-day gabfest - namely why it took five tries before now-wife Jill said yes.

After returning from a trip to Africa, Biden said to Jill, "This is the last time I'm going to ask you, because I'm not going to do it again."

"I said here's the deal: You don't have to say when, promise me you will and she said yes," he said.

The reason? His kids.

"I think the main reason she did was my boys - her boys now. She fell in love with them maybe before she fell in love with me."

The interview wasn't just personal. The co-hosts grilled him on foreign policy and the discontent among Americans over the economy.

When asked why the Tea Party movement - which is largely focused on anger over out of control government spending and high taxes - Biden said Tea Partiers will eventually come around to understanding the administration's efforts.

"The vast majority of people, I think, are just frustrated," he said. "What they don't get yet - and I understand it - is they're going to see that we've spent our time cutting taxes."

As for cracking down on Iran's nuclear ambitions, he noted that sanctions would be "the next step."

"I'm not assuming that sanctions will not work. Everyone from the Israeli prime minister straight through to the British prime minister to the president of Russia - everyone agrees that the next step that we should take is the U.N. sanction route, which I believe you'll see ... coming out by the end of this month or the beginning of next month."

He also didn't mince words on Iran's stance in the world.

"This is the first time the entire world is unified that Iran is out of bounds," he said. "They are most isolated than they've ever been. They're more isolated with their own people; they're more isolated externally."

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soundoff (19 Responses)

    Joe shouldn't have to worry about that at all.After all if you got your foot in your mouth it's impossible to stutter.

    April 22, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Sgt. USMC

    Way to go Joe, no F bombs.

    April 22, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. johnnyhouse

    This is one man in this government that is head and shoulders above the rest. You always know what he thinks and I truly believe he has a sly way of getting points across that need to be made. He was a gentleman even when he was shafted by Israel during his visit. He took that hit for Obama. He neither comes across as a Democrat or Republican but a statesman. He is one of us.

    April 22, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Ron in California

    Mr. Vice President, your commment though not meant so was offensive....I've known many people who stutter...I never thought one was an idiot.

    April 22, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Bill

    We wouldn't have you any other way, Joe. You're A+ in my book.

    April 22, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Luke Brown

    Biden is a good guy. What's not to like?

    April 22, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. malabar

    this guy must be an idiot

    April 22, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Ben Dover

    Biden is and has always been entertaining and enjoyable but he definitely will not be head of a think tank at the end of their term.

    April 22, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Nirvana

    Can Jo Biden lie? He is a great Guy, we all love him. He has gone thru a difficult personal family life. He needed a good women by his side. But, you should ask him, Do you love Jill? The real truth will come out because he does not lie. He is a good man.

    April 22, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Tim

    Recalcitrant Middle East leader defies world opinion over his alleged weapons program . . . tensions rise . . . world leaders want sanctions . . . continued defiance . . . everybody's on board . . . U.N. sanctions pending . . . .

    Gosh, this sounds so familiar. Where have I heard this before?

    Oh, that's right: Saddam Hussein! Curious as to whether the U.N. will have any more resolve to stand up to Ahmadinejad than they did Saddam.

    April 22, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. geecee

    I love Joe Biden. He's just a really nice guy, wears his heart on his sleeve, doesn't attempt to deceive anyone. It seems he couldn't lie even if he wanted to. Just an overall sweet-hearted guy. He's married to a lovely lady and has great children. I am glad his life turned out so well after the tragedy that befell him when he was first married and losing his wife and baby daughter in a car accident. God Bless Him and God Bless President Obama for naming him to be our V.P. What an improvement over the last guy – geez!!!

    April 22, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    Joe, the only idiot in the room was the guy that thought you were an idiot.

    April 22, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Duck Fallas

    He should have told the story about losing his first wife- it cracked Palin up.

    And Iran isn't a threat, CHINA is. Dummie.

    April 22, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. maripil

    Thank goodness we have a Democratic Vice President in the person of Joe Biden. He is so refreshing and honest to a fault while very engaging to be with.

    Unlike the previous Bush administration, where VP Cheney is Darth Vader......master of all the Dark Lords ......!!! How evil and terrifying to look at, let alone to speak to him in person!!

    April 22, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    My father stuttered Joey. I agree with you, it is a debilitating and obfuscating trait.

    But it further endears you to me Joey!

    April 22, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. gt

    he dont stutter saying the f word...

    April 22, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. RCasson

    I love you Joe. Stay cool...

    April 22, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. sonny chapman

    SANCTIONS !! That's no fun; and it's so unmanly. Bombs Away !!

    April 22, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "What they [the Tea Partiers] don't get yet – and I understand it – is they're going to see that we've spent our time cutting taxes."

    Yeah, right.

    Joe apparently thinks the Tea Partiers are dumber than he is. His boss crams a two trillion dollar waste of money down our throats and expects us to believe "they've spent their time cutting taxes?"

    Uh-huh, sure, Joe. Just keep saying it. Someday we'll all believe it.

    Yeah, right.

    April 22, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |