Joe Biden became emotional in an interview Wednesday when asked about how his late son guides him on the campaign trail.
"Beau should be the one running for president, not me," Biden said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Beau Biden was the attorney general of Delaware when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died in 2015 at the age of 46. Biden said his son pushed him to stay politically engaged during his cancer fight.
"He was worried I would walk away" from public service, Biden said Wednesday morning. "He is part of me, and so is my surviving son, Hunter, and Ashley," his daughter.
Biden has long said that his public loss — his first wife and infant daughter were killed in a car crash decades ago and later Beau — is a point of connection with voters.
"You'd be amazed at the number of people who come up to me," he said. "I mean hundreds of people over time. They'll throw their arms around me, men and women, and say, 'I just lost my son, I just lost my father, I just lost my wife.' And all they want to know is that you're going to make it.”
The former vice president recalled that Beau Biden would be the last person to talk to him before vice presidential debates, grabbing him by the lapel and saying, "Just be who you are."
"He still grabs me by the lapel every time I walk out," Biden said, wiping tears away.
Biden also spoke at length about Social Security, the latest sparring issue with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Biden pushed back against Sanders' tweeted claim that Biden had once advocated cutting the entitlement program.
"No, no, no, no," he said when asked if he would ever cut Social Security. "We weren’t talking about cutting them either then — that was trying to figure out how we got through a debacle where the whole government didn’t shut down."
He complained that going back decades to take politics out of context was pointless.
"It's like me pointing out Bernie voted against Brady Bill five times while I was trying to get it passed," Biden said of the law that mandated federal background checks on gun purchases. "He's made up for that."