Vice President Joe Biden visited with Al Sharpton this morning on MSNBC where he spoke candidly about Hillary Clinton, his 2016 presidential aspirations and the financial hardships his family has faced since becoming the vice president. Following is a transcript of that discussion which will air this evening on Sharpton’s show, PoliticsNation, on MSNBC.
AL SHARPTON: Tonight I want to welcome a guest on my own show where I host. Tonight that guest is Joe Biden who is President Obama’s vice president. Welcome to my show, Mr. Vice.
JOE BIDEN: It’s a pleasure to be with you.
AL SHARPTON: Mr. Vice, I want to start off by asking you about Hillary Clinton saying she was broke when she was removed from the White House.
JOE BIDEN: I’ve heard Hillary talk about the financial struggles she and President Clinton faced in the early days of their post presidency. Believe me, I know how stressful it can be struggling to make ends meet.
AL SHARPTON: You’ve struggled too?
JOE BIDEN: Oh sure. I’m still struggling. Like so many Americans, Jill and I lie awake nights worrying about having enough money to pay the bills.
AL SHARPTON: Pay the bills? But you eat in fancy restaurants with President Obama. You stay in nice hotels. And that suit you’re wearing, it looks pretty expensive.
JOE BIDEN: (chuckles) I couldn’t afford a suit like this. This is a suit Al Gore left behind at the vice presidential mansion.
AL SHARPTON: Get outta here!
AL SHARPTON: Well he’s rich enough now to buy all the fat clothes he wants. He has more money than the Clintons. Maybe even Oprah.
JOE BIDEN: I think it even surprised him how lucrative his global warming show became.
AL SHARPTON: And it made him a lot of money, too. You know, people are going to be shocked that you have to wear Al Gore’s clothes.
JOE BIDEN: Everybody thinks because you’re the vice president you’re rolling in dough. I wish it were true, but it’s not. I’m no different than millions of other Americans who struggle every month to make ends meet.
AL SHARPTON: Hillary said they had to borrow money to buy houses.
JOE BIDEN: She was fortunate to know wealthy people willing to lend her large sums of money.
AL SHARPTON: You tellin’ me you don’t know any rich people?
JOE BIDEN: As the vice president I interact with wealthy people all the time. But the Biden family’s friends are mostly blue collar workers. Just regular folks struggling to get by. Unfortunately, many of them are unemployed. So no, there isn’t anybody to borrow money from. And even if there were, we’d never be able to pay it back.
AL SHARPTON: So how do you get by?
JOE BIDEN: Well, like millions of other Americans, Jill and I live on a tight budget. But even then there are the unexpected expenses that always seem to occur during the the lean times. When the brakes on the car go out or the roof starts to leak.
AL SHARPTON: How do you manage during those times?
JOE BIDEN: Sometimes I’ve had to take a payday loan. It doesn’t happen very often, but there have been times it’s been my only option.
AL SHARPTON: But you’re the vice president of America. Can’t you just go get some money from the place where they make it?
JOE BIDEN: (chuckling) Oh, if it were only that simple. Look, I don’t want anyone thinking we’re going hungry or anything. We’ve eaten for free at the White House plenty of times. But every now and then when our backs are against the wall financially, I’ll head over to an inner city check cashing business and get a payday loan. It’s no big deal. Lots of Americans do it. I’m no better than they are, even if I am the vice president of the United States.
AL SHARPTON: But my producers told me your wife is a doctor. Can’t she do a few brain surgeons or something? I would think that would bring in a substandard amount of cash.
JOE BIDEN: Well, she’s not that kind of doctor. Her doctorate is in education.
AL SHARPTON: So let her operate on some teachers.
AL SHARPTON: We only have time for one more last question. If Hillary becomes president, would you considerate being her vice?
JOE BIDEN: (chuckles) Well, I haven’t ruled out putting my own oar in the presidential waters.
AL SHARPTON: (surprised) Whoa, Mr. Vice! You’re gonna to get the wrath of the feminalists for that one. Maybe even from Mr. Clinton, too.
JOE BIDEN: (Looks confused, but smiles and winks anyway)
AL SHARPTON: OK, that’s all the time we have. Thank you for the vice president in joining me on my show, where I host.