- Charles Mostoller/Reuters
Former Vice President Joe Biden told an audience Tuesday that whenever he gets a call from a former employee of President Barack Obama’s administration who works in the Trump administration, he tells them to “please stay.”
Biden made the remark while at an event with Ohio Gov. John Kasich at the former vice president’s alma mater, the University of Delaware. Biden and Kasich, a Republican, held a discussion on “bridging the political divide.”
Biden additionally expressed concern at the idea of top-level officials in the Trump administration quitting.
“I don’t want to see chief of staff quit, I don’t want to see the secretary of state quit, I don’t want to see the secretary of defense quit,” he said.
He also criticized President Donald Trump, saying he “doesn’t understand governance.”
Both Biden and Kasich provided brutal assessments of the state of politics and government in the US today. Biden blasted Trump for his “bizarre conduct,” claiming that a European prime minister went as far as to tell Biden that Trump was similar to former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. At one point, Biden stood up and imitated Trump brushing aside the president of Montenegro at a NATO event in May.
“He comes along and says he is breaking down all the norms,” Biden said of Trump. “There are certain basic norms and he doesn’t understand them, and the ones he understands he tries to break down.”
Biden also decried Trump’s claims that the media is reporting “fake news” about him, at one point picking up a water bottle and saying Trump’s claims were like if the former vice president said he was not holding a bottle of water. He added that members of the press are among the brightest people he has met in his career.
Biden and Kasich called for politics to move toward a more center consensus instead of catering to both extremes. Kasich said the breakdown in US politics began long before Trump and is “because of base politics,” with both Democrats and Republicans being unable to break from their far left and right flanks.