Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. told a room full of Delaware natives that they need to give President-elect Donald Trump a chance to succeed.
“Whether you’re for the Democratic nominee or the Republican nominee, this is an incredible, incredible country. And no matter what your politics, you have an obligation to support the president-elect,” Biden said. “You have an obligation to try and make it work.”
The vice president spoke for roughly 15 minutes during an unannounced stop at the annual Taste of Delaware celebration on Delaware Day in the Capitol complex’s Kennedy Caucus Room.
“My dad said it best: that there are two things that mark America. The first is that every single solitary person is entitled to be treated with dignity. And the cornerstone of dignity, my dad used to say, is having a job,” Biden said.
“If you listen to President Obama, you’d think I was a kid from Scranton who just climbed out of a coal mine with a lunch bucket,” Biden said. “An awful lot of Delawareans are really upset because I owe so much to Delaware, and I’m referred to as the Scranton guy. I’m a Delaware guy.”
Biden spoke in particular to concerns about the explosion of fake news stories related to the 2016 presidential election, which has gotten more attention after a man showed up with a firearm at Washington, D.C., restaurant and bar to investigate internet-fueled rumors.
“It’s very difficult to tell truth from falsehood. Look at the fake news that’s going on. That young man who went to the pizza place here with an AK-47 because he was convinced there was sex trafficking going on in the basement, that somehow Hillary had something to do with it,” Biden said.
He added that he planned on visiting the establishment with his granddaughters.
Biden said earlier Wednesday he does not intend to run for president 2020, two days after declining to rule it out.
“I have no intention of running,” Biden told reporters outside the Senate floor Wednesday evening.
Biden had presided over a two-and-a-half-hour tribute to his service in the Senate and the White House, and was heading to a reception in his honor that came before his surprise stop at the Delaware Day event.
The vice president had addressed reporters Monday after presiding over a vote on the 21st Century Cures Act in his capacity as president of the Senate. The bill includes funding for his “cancer moonshot” initiative.
He alluded to that effort during the remarks to the crowd of Delawareans, making a prediction about medial innovation over the next decade.
“You guys are going to see changes in the world that are going to be breathtaking. Breathtaking. Not because of me, because of science. In the next 10 years, your kids are going to get a vaccination against cancer, not just polio,” Biden said. “You’re going to be traveling subsonically at 22,000 miles an hour.”
Asked about a 2020 run on Monday, Biden said, “I’m not committing not to run. I’m not committing to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening.”
Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.