President Joe Biden let it slip in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he had never seen the White House residence before he moved in, which would allegedly mean that former President Obama never invited him into his private inner sanctum.
It’s a stunning revelation considering the picture painted in the media of Obama and Biden being close friends and confidants. Biden served for eight years as Obama’s vice president. He’s also been in the Senate for more than 30 years. But evidently, not even once was he invited into the White House living quarters by Obama for a chat.
The disclosure was aired during a town hall on Tuesday in Milwaukee. “I had been in the Oval Office a hundred times as vice president — more than that — every morning for the initial meetings but I had never been up in the residence,” Biden stated in the CNN town hall.
He also made the claim that, until he became president, he had never had the White House staff meet his every need.
(Video Credit: CNN)
“I was raised in a way that you didn’t look for anybody to wait on you,” Biden claimed. He also said that he felt “self-conscious” relying on the staff.
Although Biden is referred to as ‘Middle-Class Joe’ by some, he is actually worth approximately $9 million.
“You’d never been in the residence of the White House?” Cooper asked the president.
“I’d only been upstairs in the Yellow Room, the Oval upstairs,” Biden replied.
“I don’t know, I’ve never been there either,” Cooper laughed, trying to brush off the awkwardness of the answer.
This highlighted the seemingly strange relationship between Biden and Obama. “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f— things up,” Obama allegedly said to Politico last August in reference to Biden. And Obama withheld his endorsement of his former vice president for the 2020 election as well until April of last year. Biden had already been on the campaign trail for months at that point.
Cooper asked Biden if living in the White House was what he expected.
“You know, I don’t know what I ever expected it to be. It is different in that, um – [I don’t want to] get in trouble here – I said when I was running, I wanted to be president not to live in the White House but to be able to make the decisions about the future of the country.”
“So living in the White House – as you’ve heard [from] other presidents who’ve been extremely flattered to live there — it’s a little like a gilded cage in terms of being able to walk outside and do things,” he added.
Biden reminisced about the vice president’s residence which he seemed to miss. It is on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. He stated that it was on a larger property with a swimming pool. There was also plenty of room for riding bicycles.
“You’re on 80 acres, overlooking the rest of the city, and you can walk out, there’s a swimming pool, you can walk off the porch in the summer and jump in the pool and go into work,” he recalled.
“You can ride a bicycle around and never leave the property. You can work out, but the White House is very different,” he said.
When Cooper first started the interview, he asked Biden: “You’ve already spent a great deal of time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Except now you’re living there and you’re president. It’s been four weeks. What’s it like? How is it different?”
Biden responded: “I wake up every morning, look at Jill, and say ‘where the hell are we?'”
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