Former Vice President Joe Biden quipped that the blue-collar Rust Belt voters Donald Trump swung to the Republican column in 2016 "love me more" during an interview Monday with Megyn Kelly.
Biden took over NBC's "Today" set of shows Monday morning to discuss his new book Promise Me, Dad, which delves into the death of his son Beau from brain cancer in 2015.
Biden mulled a run for president in 2016 but ultimately decided against it and campaigned for Hillary Clinton. Since her defeat, he has expressed regret for not running and has continually hinted at challenging Trump in four years, although he reiterated Monday he hasn't decided.
In a clip flagged by Mediaite, Kelly brought up possible arguments opponents would make against his candidacy, however.
"You’re going to be 77 in 2020," Kelly said. "You wouldn’t have any new ideas. You’ve already run twice and lost. You’d have to promise that it would be one term only. And the blue collar Rust Belt-ers who you’d need to get elected already love [President] Donald Trump."
After a beat, Biden said, "They love me more," drawing a roar from the studio audience.
He joked the rest of the criticism was true, but he then said he understood the Rust Belt and Trump had "no notion what those people are going through."
"They call me ‘Middle Class Joe.’ Well, it’s not meant as a compliment in Washington. It means I’m not sophisticated," Biden said, in a line he uses often. "But I understand. I understand what built this country, and the only thing I know I know is the middle class, their hopes, their aspirations, because it’s where I come from. It’s what I am."
Trump turned Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio from blue to red in his victory over Hillary Clinton. All four of those states had gone for Barack Obama in his two previous elections.
Kelly asked what happened during the Barack Obama years that left such voters feeling discarded.
"What happened was we had to deal for six years [with] dragging this economy out of a ditch," Biden said. "We got it up on the ground."