Joe Biden said that ailing former president Jimmy Carter asked him to deliver the eulogy at his funeral.
Biden shared the secret with an audience at a California fundraiser, saying he saw Carter in Georgia and that doctors “found a way to keep him going” after he entered home hospice care nearly a month ago.
“I spent time with Jimmy Carter, and it’s finally caught up with him, but they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated because they found a breakthrough,” Biden said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.
Biden then brought up Carter’s imminent death, saying, “He asked me to do his eulogy.”
Biden shares Carter secret
Biden immediately apologized for the tone-deaf remark, saying, “Excuse me, I shouldn’t say that.”
80-year-old Biden’s tendency to freeze up and ramble during speeches has long raised questions about his own health and fitness for duty.
His premature comment about Carter’s funeral is just the latest of many “gaffes,” including a notorious remark in which Biden called out for a deceased Republican lawmaker, Jackie Walorski.
It’s likely that Biden will have some awkward moments during his eulogy for Carter, but it seems Carter isn’t particularly concerned with his friend’s rhetorical skills, or lack thereof.
The two have a long relationship defined by mutual feelings of being “underestimated” and overlooked by the Washington “establishment,” a former Carter adviser told Axios.
Biden, who served as a Delaware senator for decades, helped raise Carter from obscurity in 1976 when he became the first politician outside of Georgia to endorse Carter for president.
Carter returned the favor nearly fifty years later by endorsing Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, calling Biden his “first and most effective supporter in the Senate.” After his inauguration in 2021, Biden honored Carter with a pilgrimage to his home.
Over the past two years, critics of Biden have compared his presidency unfavorably to Carter’s, which ended after one term following a period of economic and diplomatic turmoil. In recent years, Carter has been praised as a model of Christian service with his work for charities like Habitat for Humanity.
Carter also has the distinction of being the oldest living American president. After he entered hospice care more than three weeks ago, his niece said he still has “some time in him.”