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Joe Biden discusses 'sense of urgency' needed in cancer research, blasts Trump

Katie Couric sits down with VP Joe Biden to talk about his cancer initiative, the loss of his son and his take on Trump's recent comments.
/ Source: TODAY

On Saturday, Yahoo News' Katie Couric sat down with Vice President Joe Biden in an exclusive interview for TODAY, where he discussed the loss of his son, Beau, and why more can be done with cancer research, as well as his take on the presidential election.

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In May 2015, Beau Biden, 46, former attorney general of Delaware, lost his long battle with brain cancer. Now, his father says that to honor his eldest son's memory he's taken on an initiative to make progress in cancer research.

"Sometimes the second year is harder than the first because it's like, final-final, when everything sets in," he told Couric. "Beau is my soul. [My son] Hunter's my heart."

"Hunter said to me, 'Dad look,' he said, 'from this moment on we gotta focus on devoting our time and life to what would Beau be doing were he here. What would Beau do?'

"And it gives meaning and I think it's, for us at least, the best way to deal with the loss," he said.

Biden's "cancer moonshot initiative" is meant to progress cancer research, and came about after he expressed some frustrations to President Obama.

"One of the problems is that you have all these great researchers, but they're not sharing their data in a timely way," he explained. "...What I've been trying to do is instill a sense of urgency."

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Couric also questioned Biden on his take on the presidential campaign. When asked about his thoughts on Donald Trump's recent praise of Vladimir Putin, Biden cautioned that such sentiments could bring a troubling aftermath.

"Well, there's nothing wrong with having a candid, direct relationship where you know where you agree," he said. "But what is wrong is praising the guy because he's popular, not knowing that he's already invaded Ukraine and taken a big chunk of Ukraine called Crimea."

Of Trump's controversial comments — like declaring President Obama the founder of ISIS — Biden told Couric, “He doesn't understand his words, the words of a major party candidate, have consequences.”

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Does all the hoopla make Biden regret not running for president?

"Not at all," he said. In fact, he joked that it's the one thing that led him to become "one of the most popular politicians in America."

"Do I think I could have been a good president? I think I could have been," he said. "But it really is overall the right decision for me. "I'm still going to be engaged. I'm not going away."

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