Former Vice President Joe Biden clarified his comments about getting in a fist fight with Donald Trump, dismissing “the idea that I would actually physically get in a contest with the president of the United States or anybody else.”
“I shouldn’t have said what I said,” Biden said in an interview with “Pod Save America” released on Wednesday.
The hosts began the conversation by joking that they had come up with quirky names for a Biden-Trump bout ― including “1600 Punchsylvania Avenue” and “Spar-A-Lago” ― referring to his comments last week that he would have “beat the hell out” of Trump in high school for how he treats women.
Trump being Trump responded via tweet:
Biden said on the podcast that he first talked about wanting to thrash Trump when he was asked during the late stages of the 2016 campaign about the “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
Biden said he strictly meant that had the two men been in high school together, he would take Trump behind the gym over such comments. But he said on the podcast that he was rueful about recycling that scenario in his recent remarks at the University of Miami.
“I shouldn’t have bought it up again, because I don’t want to get down in the mosh pit with this guy,” he said. “I should have just left this alone.”
Still, Biden used the podcast to stress that “one of the passions of my life is violence against women,” and reiterated that he found Trump’s rhetoric “vulgar.”
Men “have an obligation not to engage in degrading talk,” he said. “I think what it does, it does encourage the minority element of a male population that it’s okay to engage in the behavior the president talks about.”
Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct ― including harassment, assault and rape ― by 21 women, though he vehemently denies the allegations.
“It’s important to continue to make the point that women are entitled to be treated with respect, damn it. It’s about time we men stand up. We’ve got to be part of the solution,” Biden said.
For what it’s worth, according to a survey from Public Policy Polling, 37 percent of voters think Biden could take Trump in a fist fight, with 32 percent putting their money on Trump and 30 percent having no opinion.
You can watch the entire “Pod Save America” segment above.