Former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be rethinking his hypothetical brawl with President Donald Trump. According to a recent podcast interview, the Biden vs. Trump feud may be cooling down somewhat as Biden voiced regret about saying he'd beat up Trump over how he talks about women.
"I shouldn't have said what I said," the former vice president said in an interview on the Pod Save America podcast. "I shouldn't have brought it up again because I don't want to get down in the mosh pit with this guy."
Earlier this month, Biden and Trump spent the better part of a week boasting about who would beat up whom in a fistfight. The verbal tiff was kicked off when Biden said he'd "beat the hell out of" Trump if they were in high school and not, you know, two men in their 70s.
"Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room," Biden said during a rally against sexual assault and gender-based violence at the University of Miami. Biden's comments were a reference to how Trump had attempted to dismiss his lewd comments about women as nothing more than "locker room talk."
A few days later, Trump tweeted Biden was "crazy" and "weak, both mentally and physically." The president also implied Biden would "go down fast and hard, crying all the way" if the two ever did get into a fight.
But even that wasn't the first time Biden and Trump have talked about engaging in some good old fashioned fisticuffs. While campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2016, Biden told a Pennsylvania crowd he wished he was in high school so "I could take [Trump] behind the gym." In a speech of his own, Trump later responded that he'd "love" to fight Biden, accusing the then-vice president of only being "Mr. Tough Guy" when "standing behind a microphone."
However, during his interview on Wednesday's episode of Pod Save America, Biden expressed regret for how the comments had been easily taken out of context. "The idea that I would actually physically get in a contest with a president of the United States or anybody else now, is not what I said and is not what this was about," Biden said. "I should have just left it alone."
The former vice president went on to say he'd made the comments in the context of talking about the abuse of women to show men have an obligation to not to engage in degrading talk and also to stand up for women.
"The truth of the matter is, I find the behavior — the talk — vulgar," Biden said. "I find it degrading and I think what it does, it does encourage the minority element of a male population to think it's OK to engage in the behavior the president talks about."
Biden went on to say that he "never at any time" meant to imply that he'd like to personally or physically challenge President Trump to a fight now. Rather, he stressed his repeated use of the phrase "in high school," saying he'd meant that's how he would have handled someone who he'd heard make comments like Trump's when he was younger.
He also said his comments were meant to be part of a broader conversation about the various roles men can play in ending gender-based violence. "I think it's important to continue to make the point: Women are entitled to be treated with respect, dammit," Biden said, "It's about time we men stand up. We've got to be a part of the solution."