In an interview in which the president was asked about everything from his administration’s response to the pandemic to Liz Cheney’s dispute with the Republican leadership, the last question was about his late son, who died in 2015 from a brain tumour.
If he were able to call Mr Biden, how would he think his son would judge the first 100 days of his presidency, the president was asked.
“He’d say ‘Dad, look at me, remember: home base. Home base. Be who you are’,” he said, his eyes filling with tears and his throat catching.
“The one thing that I hope he would say is ‘Dad, your home base, you’re sticking to it’.”
MSNBC interviewer Lawrence O’Donnell said Mr Biden was 113 days into his presidency, and was in many ways the best prepared president in recent history. What he no longer had, he pointed out, was the advice of his late eldest son.
“I’m just wondering what you would say if Beau called you today and said, hey, Pop, how’s it going,” said Mr O’Donnell.
After saying he believed his son would say he was sticking to the plan he had set out to accomplish, his words began to run into one another. He added, his son might say: “Some things are worth losing over, old buddy.”
Mr O’Donnell then thanked Mr Biden for the interview.
“Thank you. You always catch me off guard with Beau. God love him. He should be sitting in this chair,” Mr Biden said.
“Anyway, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”