Biden says candidates might need Secret Service protection after wife corralled protester

Biden said "it's becoming increasingly" clear that such protection is necessary.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Allan Smith

Former Vice President Joe Biden said the Secret Service might need to start providing details for the remaining presidential candidates after his wife helped corral a protester at his Super Tuesday evening rally.

"Well, I think that that's something that has to be considered the more outrageous it becomes," he told "TODAY" co-anchor Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview that aired Thursday. "But I tell you my wife's something else, isn't she? Well, I wasn't scared for me. I was worried about for Jill. She is incredible. She did the same thing at another event in New Hampshire when a guy I didn't even see him coming behind me ... and she runs up and grabs him."

"She and my daughter have more courage than I think anyway I that's what I worry about, I worry about Jill," he continued.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the Biden campaign is considering making a formal request for protection, a person with knowledge with the situation said. In 2016, then-candidates Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were given Secret Service details.

Biden said "it's becoming increasingly" clear that such protection is necessary.

"I don't like to pull the Trump routine of someone stands up and protests and throw them out you know," Biden said. "Kick the bum out kind of, I don't do that. But I do think that the idea of jumping on a stage, it's just not permissible. The last thing we need is anybody hurt."

Biden also responded to Sanders, the Vermont senator and his primary rival, who said Wednesday that Biden's campaign "is obviously heavily supported by the corporate establishment" and therefore is unlikely to "bring about the changes in this country that working families and the middle class and low-income people desperately need?"

Biden called that sentiment "ridiculous."

"Bernie, you got beaten by overwhelming support I have from the African American community, Bernie. You got beaten because of suburban women, Bernie," he said, pointing to his Super Tuesday wins. "You got beaten because of the middle class, hardworking folks out there, Bernie. You've raised a lot more money than I have, Bernie."

Biden carried Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, Maine and Texas on Tuesday while Sanders won Colorado, Utah and Vermont. California is still too early to call, but Sanders is leading with more than half the vote counted. A Washington Post statistical model suggested Biden won a solid majority of voters who sat out the 2016 primary but voted on Tuesday. Meanwhile, for Sanders, a surge of young voters boosting his candidacy did not materialize.

Sanders supporters expressed consternation online over Biden getting the support of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar just prior to the Super Tuesday vote and pointed to rallying health care stocks after Biden's strong performance to suggest who may benefit from a Biden presidency.

As it stands, Biden has 527 delegates while Sanders has 475, according to the NBC News projection. A candidate must earn at least 1,991 delegates to secure the nomination.

Biden added that he would love to go toe-to-toe with Sanders on his record, as Sanders suggested someone with Biden's history will not be able to defeat Trump.

"Right now, let's go to Michigan, Bernie, let's see if that's true," Biden said. "I'm the guy that helped bail out the automobile industry. What'd you do, old buddy? Come on. This idea of that my record is a problem, this is a guy that voted against the Brady bill five times for background checks on people."