ABC NewsBy MOLLY NAGLE and JOHN VERHOVEK, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden said her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden, is up to the task of the presidency, defending him against attacks questioning the 77-year-old’s mental capability.
“I see Joe every single day and he’s writing speeches, he’s being briefed, he’s making phone calls, he’s on the zoom constantly, he’s doing fundraisers. I mean, we go from nine in the morning till, gosh, 10, 11 at night,” Dr. Biden said in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America Wednesday.
“I don’t see any of that. I mean, Joe is totally engaged and you know Joe, I mean he just, he loves it,” she continued. “He’s the, I guess, consummate politician.”
Biden spoke following her address to the nation at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, and recalled the emotion of her husband officially becoming the Democratic nominee, more than 30 years after he launched his first presidential campaign.
“I was feeling really elated. I was so happy for Joe, I’m so happy that the nation got to see really who my husband is because I’ve known all along how strong he is and what a great leader he is and what a great leader he will be for this nation, so I’m just so proud of Joe and I’m glad that America got to see,” she said.
The former vice president has been attending the quadrennial gatherings for the Democratic party for nearly 50 years, however the culminating event for Biden is taking place in an unconventional form: an almost entirely virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While he officially won the nomination without the usual pomp and circumstance, Biden’s grandkids did deliver a surprise celebration with confetti and balloons.
“I think they were in this conspiracy — they were all doing it together. It was a lot of fun,” Biden said.
Biden, an educator herself, also urged the nation to listen to the experts on the question of when to return to the classroom, describing conversations she is having with concerned citizens all over the country.
“That’s what I’m hearing from people all over this nation, whether it’s educators or parents, they’re texting me, they’re calling me, ‘What should we do, what should we do? There’s a lot of anxiety. And so I think we have to listen to the experts, and when the experts say it’s safe to go back, we’ll go back,” Biden said.
During her remarks at Brandywine High school in Wilmington, Delaware, Tuesday night — a school she taught English at in the early 1990s — Biden laid out a personal case for her husband to voters as the final speaker of the two-hour event.
“The burdens we carry are heavy, and we need someone with strong shoulders. I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole. Carry us forward in our time of need. Keep the promise of America, for all of us,” Biden pledged of her husband’s presidency.
Asked what she most looks forward to if she gets the chance to serve as the nation’s first lady, Biden said she hopes to focus on many of the same initiatives she championed when her husband served as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years.
“I am most excited about having a platform and raising up military families. Certainly raising up the profile of teachers. I’ve been a teacher for 36 years — and pushing free community college. So there are so many things — and the cancer initiative that Joe and I started in the White House and then continued afterwards. So I’m ready to go and I’m really hoping that we win on Nov. 3,” Biden said.
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