Biden Issues Warning Against 'Phony Nationalism'

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Former Vice President Joe Biden has warned that "phony nationalism" represents a major problem for the U.S.

Biden was speaking at an event on cancer research organized by Axios Nov. 8, according to The Hill.

"It's undermining the social fabric of the nation, this phony nationalism," he said during the question-and-answer session.

He also criticized the deepening political divisions in the country.

"Did any of you ever think you would see, in one of the historic cities of America, folks coming out from under rocks, and out of the fields with torches, carrying swastikas, literally citing the same exact anti-Semitic bile we heard in the '30s?" he said, referring to an August demonstration by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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"And then have those who were protesting compared as a moral equivalent to those people?" he added. "Folks, this is eating at the fabric of this country. It is wrong."

Biden praised a speech delivered in October by Republican Sen. John McCain, who denounced "half-baked, spurious nationalism." While McCain did not mention President Donald Trump by name, his statements were widely interpreted as an attack on the president's politics.

Biden announced in October 2015 that he would not run for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2016 election. Five months earlier, in May 2015, his son Beau died of brain cancer.

"I don't regret the decision I made because it was the right decision for my family," Biden said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, according to ABC News.

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But he did acknowledge a desire to be in the White House.

"I regret that I am not president because I think there is so much opportunity," said Biden. "I think America is so incredibly well positioned."

The former vice president explained that his prominent role in the Obama administration was linked to his good relationship with the president.

"There's no power in the vice presidency," he added. "It's all reflective. It comes from the president."

He was asked to talk about the qualities he thinks make a good leader.

"The leaders I've observed who are the best are the ones who have courage to take a chance and be willing to lose on principle, and two, are self-aware," added Biden, according to HuffPost. "They understand their strengths and they understand their weaknesses. They play to their strengths, and they try to shore up their weaknesses."

He warned that a lack of self-awareness leads to a feeling of self-importance, which often results in abuses of power.

Sources: The Hill, ABC News, HuffPost / Featured Image: A. Shaker/VOA/voanews.com via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: The White House/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Pete Souza/Facebook via Wikimedia Commons

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