- The Washington Times - Monday, March 26, 2018

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden walked back his tough talk on President Trump on Friday, saying he shouldn’t have mused about beating up the president in high school.

“I shouldn’t have said what I said,” Mr. Biden told the “Pod Save America” podcast. “I shouldn’t have brought it up again, because I don’t want to get down in the mosh pit with this guy.”

Mr. Biden explained that he first mentioned a possible fistfight with Mr. Trump in October 2016 while campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He talked about it again last week during a rally at the University of Miami against sexual assault after mentioning Mr. Trump’s infamous “Access Hollywood” recording that captured the real estate mogul talking in 2005 about being able to get away with groping women because of his fame.

“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,’” Mr. Biden told the crowd on Tuesday. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’”

Mr. Trump responded to the former vice president in kind, tweeting, “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

Mr. Biden said Friday that he would never actually get into a physical fight with the president.

“Now the idea that I would actually physically get in a contest with the president of the United States or anybody else now is not what I said and it’s not what this was about. The truth of the matter is I find the behavior, the talk, vulgar,” he said, referring to the “Access Hollywood” tape. “I find it degrading. And I think what it does, it does encourage the minority element of a male population to think it’s OK to engage in the behavior the president talks about. So that was the context, and I did say, I used, again, ‘in high school.’ I never ever at any time said I would like to personally, physically, etc. But I think it is important to continue to make the point: Women are entitled to be treated with respect, damn it. And it’s about time we men stand up. We’ve got to be part of the solution.”

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