Meet the Press   |  December 18, 2014

Biden: Russert had ‘a rare gift’

June 14: Vice President Joe Biden marks the legacy of former “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

MR. GREGORY: Painful anniversary this week.

VICE PRES. BIDEN: Yeah.

MR. GREGORY: He's been gone a year. Some thoughts this morning?

VICE PRES. BIDEN: Yeah. You know, he was a force. He was a force. I'm wearing my Tim Russert tie that...

MR. GREGORY: I noticed that.

VICE PRES. BIDEN: ...that Maureen sent me, his wife. I got a chance to do Wake Forest commencement that he was supposed to do. And the irony is the only sort of bittersweet thing, David -- and by the way, I think you're doing a great job. Presumptuous of me to say that, probably ruin your reputation, but, but, you know, it was a year ago almost to the day I was supposed to be on the program with him. I got -- I was supposed to be on that Sunday, and Friday got the call. And it just is still almost surreal. I mean, this guy, this guy was bigger than life. This guy, you know, this guy extended beyond what he did on this show. I mean, it was -- and the thing I liked about him best, I liked -- as I said to the kids down there at the commencement, when I first met him he was working for Moynahan and I was a young senator. I knew the staff better than I knew the senators. And by the way, I'm four years senior to Moynahan . You know, he had come along after my four years. And I remember him asking me about whether or not I thought -- did I ever have any doubts about my ability to do this. He told me the story about Moynahan where he walked in saying, "All these guys with these Rhodes Scholarships and things, and Ivy League schools, I don't know whether or not I can -- I should be here." And Moynahan looked at him and said, allegedly -- and it sounds like Moynahan -- he said, "Look, Tim , you can learn what they know. They can never learn what you know."

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

VICE PRES. BIDEN: That's the special thing about -- that was special about Tim . My mother would say it's an Irish thing. She'd say he had a sixth sense. And he really did. I mean, it was a rare, a rare gift and it's missed.