Former Vice President Joe Biden shared the emotional details of a conversation he once had with former President George H.W. Bush following the death of Biden’s eldest son, Beau.
Speaking at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Saturday, Biden recalled Bush greeting him upon his arrival to Houston in 2015, shortly after Beau Biden had passed away at age 46 from brain cancer.
“He said, ‘I just came to welcome you to Houston, and to tell you how badly I feel about Beau,'” Biden recalled the late Bush saying.
“‘He was an incredible young man,'” Bush told Biden. “‘And I think he may have been president.'”
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Joe Biden: "[President George HW Bush] said, 'I just came to welcome you to Houston and to tell you how badly I feel about Beau. He was an incredible young man and I think he may have been president.' Now how many people would do that?" https://t.co/sD5PFHEHHe pic.twitter.com/QStTVfkt37
— The Hill (@thehill) December 3, 2018
Biden expressed shock at the sentiment from the former Republican president and questioned whether that same sentiment could be found from others in today’s political climate.
“It was totally, completely, thoroughly heartfelt,” Biden said. “By the time he left the room, only ten minutes later, he was physically exhausted.”
“That’s the kind of man he was — a man of enormous integrity,” he added. “And never, never, never was it about him, it was always about someone else.”
Biden heaped praise onto the late Bush in a lengthy statement released on Saturday, saying that the country “has lost a great leader” in Bush’s passing. Bush’s military service in World War II and his work to end the Cold War and reunify Germany was singled out for praise from the former vice president.
President George H.W. Bush was a decent, kind, and gracious statesman. This nation will miss him. Our condolences go out to the entire Bush family for their loss. pic.twitter.com/vF2qRPm4by
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 1, 2018
Despite their political differences, Biden explained that their disagreements while serving together, during Biden’s time in the Senate and Bush’s time as both vice president and later president, were never “personal” or “petty,” and “always with respect for our institutions and the people they govern.”
“As we mourn his passing today, we remember a life totally and completely dedicated to the country he loved,” Biden said.