'This Week' Transcript: VP-Elect Joe Biden

And guess what? If he runs, if he comes back and he runs, if he runs for attorney general again, which his term will be up, or he runs for the United States Senate, the people of Delaware will decide that. I don't -- I don't -- I don't get the problem if that occurs.

I give you my word, George: I don't have any idea what he will do. I truly do not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if he runs, he's earned it himself?

BIDEN: Absolutely positively. Look, he's attorney general of the state of Delaware. They're looking at him, he's getting great grades. This is -- in terms of what he's done. He's doing it -- I mean, you know, I'm not -- you know, his judgments, good or bad, aren't because his name is Biden. I mean, people can judge him based on what he's done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the situation in Illinois? Why not a special election?

BIDEN: Oh, that's -- look, you -- you all -- look, you're an historian, I mean, a student of -- of -- of the -- our political process. The reason why states historically have not done that is they're worried that they'll go an extended period of time without representation and because, while they're holding the election and giving adequate time to prepare for an election, and the cost of an election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it looks like impeachment proceedings are going to take a long time in Illinois, too.

BIDEN: But if states -- look, as you know, the exception is becoming the rule here. Here you have an apparently corrupt governor who has taken -- and this is the -- I've been around for 36 years. I have not seen, at least in terms of allegations, anything as bold as what's being suggested here.

But, look, the people of Illinois can decide if they'd rather go ahead and spend the money and have an election and go forward. I would support that. In my own state, I'd support that, if they did that.

But that's for each of the states to decide. But what I think people forget is, when you focus on what is clearly an exception, just during the period in the old days when you were in the former administration, there were senators who retired and senators who were appointed.

I don't -- I don't know how many. I'll bet there's been between a half a dozen and a dozen appointments to the Senate since I've been there. Some people have looked at it and said, "That's a brilliant way to go."

But remember when Wendell Anderson appointed himself? He was governor after Mondale stepped down. And they said, "Oh, no, you're out the next day." The ultimate -- the next election -- the primary point to be made is, the people of the state maximum don't have to tolerate more than two years any gubernatorial appointment, and in many cases it gets down to months.

But if they want to jettison that and say, "Let's go to direct elections," that's OK, too.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're just about out of time. I have three quick questions.

BIDEN: Sure.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Number one, President-elect Obama resigned from the Senate. Why haven't you?

BIDEN: Two reasons. One is that, from my perspective, I shouldn't acknowledge it, but being sworn in for the seventh time as a United States senator from Delaware, the greatest honor I've ever had is the people of Delaware electing me. And -- and it will in no way effect the seniority of the person who will follow me, number one.

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