- - Thursday, September 24, 2015

Twenty-eight years ago yesterday (1987), Senator Joseph Biden withdrew from the Democratic presidential race after it was revealed he had borrowed quotations and smidged a bit in the chronicling of his academic career. It wasn’t Biden’s finest moment.

But three decades later, Democrats would be doing a disservice if they don’t give strong consideration to Biden for their party’s nominee—should he choose to run.

Below is the video of a sit-down interview Biden gave to last week to Father Matthew Malone, S.J., editor-in-chief of America Media.

How can Democrats listen to Biden talk like this and then turn around and hope Hillary Clinton pulls her act together? No politician is a perfect saint, but some are at least morally serious.

Look, I’m part of that immense sea of voters who wouldn’t vote for anyone—Democrat or Republican—who is pro-choice. I couldn’t disagree more strongly with Biden’s comments in this interview regarding abortion. On those grounds alone, I would oppose Biden with fervor in a general election.

But I also believe that we’re better served as a nation by having candidates who seem like they truly believe in something besides their own cult of personality and perpetual candidacy for office.

Here is a portion of edited transcript from the interview (America Magazine):

When asked whether he found it personally difficult to be at odds with the leadership of the Church over such important issues as abortion, the Vice President said that “It has been, it has been hard in one sense, because I’m prepared to accept de fide doctrine on a whole range of issues as a Catholic… I’m prepared to accept as a matter of faith, my wife and I, my family, [the Church’s teaching on] the issue of abortion,” but, Mr. Biden added, he is not prepared to “impose” what he considers “a precise view, that is born out of my faith, on other people.” Father Malone asked Mr. Biden, however, whether there is a place in the Democratic Party for people who are pro-life. The Vice President responded: “Absolutely. Absolutely, positively. And that’s been my position as long as I’ve been engaged.”

The Vice President also discussed the pope’s recent Encyclical on the environment and human development and responded to critics who say that Laudato Si’ ventured too far into politics: “He didn’t get into politics,” Mr. Biden said. “He made it clear that it’s not the papacy’s role to be the scientist-in-chief or the political arbiter.” Asked whether religion and politics should be separate, Mr. Biden told Father Malone that “fundamental religious convictions in all the confessional faiths, not just Catholicism, are incapable of being separated from politics with a small ‘p’, not a capital ‘P’, not Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative,” adding that “I would be surprised if [the pope] didn’t enunciate those principles underlying all the major confessional faiths, particularly ours, and imply that there is a collective obligation to try to give meaning and life to these principles we all agree to.”

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