Former Vice President Joe Biden leaned heavily on the legacy of his old running mate, President Barack Obama, during a campaign appearance on Saturday.
Prior to the rally, the campaign aired a video of Obama praising Biden in 2017 and awarding his own vice president a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“I heard you playing the tape of my buddy,” Biden said, speaking to the audience in Columbia, South Carolina, and apologized, “My buddy… I shouldn’t be so casual — President of the United States Barack Obama!”
During his campaign speech, Biden recalled the 2015 racist church shooting in South Carolina, when Obama attended the funeral and sang “Amazing Grace” to the congregation.
“I watched my buddy Barack stand up there, I watched him talk, and he talked about we have to find that Amazing Grace,” Biden said,
Biden also referred to Obama’s Charleston eulogy for the slain, as he spoke about employment discrimination.
“As Barack says, when two equally qualified people, one Jamal and one John, they both apply for a job, and John gets the job?” he said. “That’s the reality in America.”
Biden reminded supporters that he and President Obama were the ones who passed Obamacare, as he talked about the continuing struggle for affordable health care.
“How can you maintain your dignity when you look over at your child and he needs health care and he has a preexisting condition?” he asked. “You couldn’t afford it before Barack and I wrote … Barack passed the Affordable Care Act.”
Biden also reminded the audience that he complimented Obama for passing Obamacare in 2010, alluding to the moment that he was caught on a hot mic calling it a “big f-ing deal.”
“I know I complimented the president when I, when we passed the Affordable Care Act, I said this is a big deal or something to that effect,” he said as the crowd laughed.
Biden also spoke about cutting short his plans to run for president in 2016, despite the difficulty of watching his son Beau die of cancer.
“Only person I could confide in was my friend – and he is my friend – Barack Obama, I told him about everything that was going on, because I knew I could trust him completely,” he said.
At another point in his speech, Biden interrupted his campaign message with more praise for Obama.
“By the way, he’s a hell of a guy, I worked with him for eight years, I watched him, he has enormous integrity, and nobody I’ve ever worked with was smarter, and he is a decent, decent, decent man,” Biden said. “And folks, I think he was one of the best presidents we’ve ever, ever had.”