Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have a history. If he runs, it may come back to haunt him.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have a history. If he runs, it may come back to haunt him.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. (Yahoo News photo Illustration; photos: AP, Getty)

Four years ago, I interviewed Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing office about his recollections of the 1980 presidential election.

I went back through that interview recently, and discovered comments by Biden about Sen. Elizabeth Warren that have fresh resonance, as Biden considers a run for president, and with Warren having already announced her own intentions.

Back in 2015, Biden was thinking about running in 2016, though he had not yet said so publicly. Warren was often mentioned as a potential candidate, despite her adamant statements that she did not plan to run.

At the time, I wanted to talk to Biden about the fight among Democrats in 1980 over Sen. Ted Kennedy and President Jimmy Carter, which was the subject of a book I had been working on. (The book, “Camelot’s End: Kennedy vs. Carter and the Fight That Broke the Democratic Party,” will be published Jan. 22.) I was interested in how the issues that split the party then might still be relevant today. As we discussed this theme, Biden repeatedly brought up Warren’s name, unprompted. It happened four times in a 40-minute conversation.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren with then Vice President Joe Biden, Jan. 3, 2013. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

“There is kind of a parallel there,” Biden told me when I asked — after Biden had brought up the Massachusetts senator who now holds Kennedy’s old seat — if she was trying to pull the Democrats back to the kind of platform Kennedy was running on in 1980.

Every time Biden compared his views with Warren’s, he held himself out as pursuing “common sense” and having a positive vision of helping the poor and working class.

“It’s not about punishing the rich, which is the fundamental premise of Elizabeth — who’s smart as hell and a good person,” Biden said. “It’s about, What do we do about the fact that the middle class has lost an incredible amount of wealth and has not seen a pay raise?”

interview with PBS, where she said that “We permit credit products to pass every day in commerce in America that if they were toasters, we would shut those folks down.”’ data-reactid=”44″>“The credit card change we made, that alone has saved consumers over $20 billion a year,” he said. “If you look at Elizabeth Warren’s argument on this: ‘You should have just shut the suckers down.’” This was a reference to Warren’s comment in a 2009 interview with PBS, where she said that “We permit credit products to pass every day in commerce in America that if they were toasters, we would shut those folks down.”

Warren and Biden at the dedication ceremony for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, March 30, 2015. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Warren went on to outline her view that the credit card industry should be regulated by “the same basic safety standards for credit products that we have for physical products.”

According to Biden, in contrast to Warren’s approach to the credit industry, others were saying, “You can’t go after these guys.”

“We came up with a pragmatic, but fundamental, change in the way credit card companies could operate,” Biden said.

A spokesman for Warren, asked to comment for this article, declined to do so. A Biden spokesman also declined to comment.

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