In an interview with Vice President Joe Biden Thursday evening, Jimmy Fallon admitted that he has made approximately 347 jokes at Biden’s expense while serving as the “Tonight Show” host. Biden told Fallon he came to collect his cut.
When Fallon met Biden for the first time at an event, he apologized and admitted they were mere jokes and he felt he had to do them to follow the news. He recalled that Biden told him “Imagine if I ran for president!”
“Yeah, your ratings would go way up,” Biden quipped.
Fallon noted that the evening he saw Biden speak was just following the Boston Bombing and complimented Biden on his eloquence about America. “People were crying,” Fallon said. “And when I say people, I mean, I was crying.”
During the speech, Biden quoted Irish poet Seamus Heaney, “History says, Don’t hope; On this side of the grave; But then, once in a lifetime; The longed-for tidal wave; Of justice can rise up; And hope and history rhyme.”
“I really think we’re at that place in American history,” Biden said. “If we just have the nerve to seize the moment. I — the American people never bend, they never break, they’re generous. And I wish we would stop talking about how, what trouble we’re in. We are in a better position than any country in the world to own the 21st century. We really are,” Biden said earnestly.
Biden admitted that he watched the debate Monday night and had never quite seen anything like it before. When asked if he’d ever seen so much fact-checking, Biden acknowledged “Well, I can tell you what, I’ve never seen anybody who knew as few facts,” he said and the audience roared with laughter. “It’s not a joke! It’s like, whoa!” he exclaimed.
Fallon described it like playing jeopardy at home and you get to final Jeopardy knowing that no one can answer it.
“We are in real jeopardy,” Biden said, to audience applause.
“You know, what amazes me about Donald Trump,” Biden continued, getting serious. “And it’s not — he’s probably a decent guy. But it’s his lack of sensibilities. I mean, the way he talks about, you know. ‘Well, you know, I was rooting for the housing market to fail because that’s business.’ That’s not business. That’s callous. I mean, that’s not business. Or, ‘I paid no taxes and that makes me smart.’ What does it make the rest us suckers? I mean — no, I really mean it. Think about it. Can you think of any president, any president you’ve studied, read about or knew who would say anything like that? Name me one president who would do that. It angers me quite frankly.
Biden went on to explain that the American people resent something like that. “The American people don’t like being played for suckers. And you know, you’ve got somebody working the assembly line making $51,000 and his wife making $50,000 working as, you know, in another factory. And they’re paying 15 percent of their income, they’re trying to raise two kids. I mean, I just don’t — I can’t imagine why somebody would say that. Like that makes me smart. You know, my dad had an expression, for real. When someone says, ‘You know, Joe, I pay too much in taxes.’ He said, ‘Look, it’s a small price to pay to live in this country.’ I mean, just pay your fair share, for God’s sake.”
He confessed that it surprised him Trump did as well in the Republican primaries. “It surprised me that he’s sort of still in the game,” he said. He refused to attack Trump’s character but did say that he’s never known a candidate who seems “to know so little about the world as this man does.”
While in Australia, Biden was with the prime minister talking about China and Southeast Asia. He got a sudden call from the Baltic state president and had to fly there to reassure them “that Republicans and Democrats, thought the commitment in NATO was a sacred commitment,” he explained. “We would defend them. Because Trump is saying, ‘I’m not sure, man. Have you paid up your dues, man?‘ I mean, this guy — I don’t even think he understands how much damage he does, by what he’s already said. I mean, because Europe, especially central and eastern Europe is scared to death about what Putin may or may not do. And this guy — I mean, look, but there is hope. He found out Crimea is part of Ukraine,” he said, finding the silver lining.
When asked about Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, Biden joked “he thought Aleppo was a dog food or something. I don’t know.”
Biden closed out the show talking about his family and the unwavering support he has had from them over the years putting them before his job. He’s instilled the same rule among his staff over the years because he recognizes the important role a family plays in our lives.
“My dad was a graceful gentle man,” Biden said. “He used to say that the greatest sin is the abuse of power, and the cardinal sin of all is for a man to raise his hand to a woman or a child. We can change the culture here. We can change the culture. And no means no. If a woman can’t respond because she’s inebriated or under the influence, then it’s rape.”
Check out the full interview below: