Ahead of the president’s final State of the Union Address, Biden spoke with CNN about his life, career, and friendship with Obama, recounting how he was supportive throughout his son’s battle with brain cancer. Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, died in May at the age of 46 following a long struggle with the disease.
Before Beau died, Biden told CNN that he talked to Obama over one of their lunches about selling his home in Wilmington, Delaware in an effort to help provide for his family. But Obama quickly shut down the possibility of Biden selling the family home by offering to help pay for any expenses, a gesture that deeply touched the vice president, he told the cable news station.
“He got up and he said, ‘Don’t sell that house. Promise me you won’t sell the house,'” Biden continued, speculating Obama would be “mad” he was retelling the story.
“He said, ‘I’ll give you the money. Whatever you need, I’ll give you the money. Don’t, Joe — promise me. Promise me.’ I said, ‘I don’t think we’re going to have to anyway.’ He said, ‘promise me,'” Biden recalled.
Biden said throughout his son’s failing health, the president stayed by his side — including anytime there were developments about Beau’s treatment.
Biden and Obama’s bond further grew after the president delivered a touching eulogy at his son’s funeral. Beau was widely celebrated for his military career and short tenure as attorney general in 2006. It was widely expected that Beau would fill his father’s Senate seat shortly before his battle with cancer was made public.
During the eulogy, President Obama celebrated Beau Biden’s strength and accomplishments.
“He did in 46 years what most of us couldn’t do in 146,” Obama said. “He left nothing in the tank. He was a man who led a life where the means were as important as the ends. And the example he set made you want to be a better dad, or a better son, or a better brother or sister, better at your job, the better soldier. He made you want to be a better person. Isn’t that finally the measure of a man—the way he lives, how he treats others, no matter what life may throw at him?”
Speaking about the importance of Obama’s legacy, Biden explained his relationship with the president is deeper than politics. With his granddaughters and Obama’s daughters forming close friendships, he said they’re just like family.