ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Barack Obama’s vice presidential nominee, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, got visibly choked up this morning describing his gratitude to his home state followers for their long-standing support.
"Look, I can go around the room and name every single one of you, and people, you’ve been with me for so long," said Biden at a breakfast in Littleton, Colo., with the Delaware delegation. "I just want you to know that, you know, this is a great honor. This is a great honor being nominated vice president of the United States. And it is an honor. And I’m proud of it. I don’t mean in any way to diminish it. But it pales in comparison to the honor that I’ve had representing you. You know, I look — I look — I look at — I apologize for getting a little emotional."
Biden’s eyes welled with tears and he paused, stepping away from the microphone as the delegation applauded.
The senator thanked his supporters for helping him persevere through the tough times in his life.
"I didn’t always comport myself the way, looking back, I want to, when bad things happened to me, when tragedy hit me like it hit many of you," he said.
His Delaware fans, Biden said, helped him persist.
"But the thing I got to say to you all, it’s a corny sounding thing. And the press, the national press is here now, I suspect they’re not going to — I don’t care what they think. I don’t know what they’re going to think. I wish we could have done this in private, because, you know, I don’t know whether I would have made it through a lot of the tough times in my life without you guys."
"I mean it sincerely," Biden continued. "I’m not gonna start naming people, but there’ve been people in this room who, when the significant events of my life occurred, were literally knocking on my door, were bringing, you know, you know, you know, a roasted chicken to the house, because you knew things were so messed up, no one was able to think about eating. There were people who were there, I could go around the room, and a lot of people aren’t here in this room, would just come by, pick up the boys and they’d take them. Take them to everything from the beach to the amusement park."
Biden lost his first wife and daughter in a car accident within his first year of being elected to the Senate 36 years ago. Then, in 1988, Biden had surgery on two aneurysms after he ended a losing presidential campaign.
"This is a big deal," Biden said Tuesday. "You’re a big deal. The Democratic Party’s been my home. The Delaware Democratic Party has been my family."
The senator also raved about Michelle Obama’s speech Monday night, calling it the most significant moment from this convention. He said it would surpass even Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy’s appearance last night, and Barack Obama’s upcoming remarks on Thursday evening at Invesco Field.
"Wasn’t that the most incredible speech you’ve ever heard?" Biden asked. "Mark my words, mark my words, when this convention is over, and three or four years from now they’re commenting on why the Democrats won, they’re gonna go back and point to the single most significant event that occurred at the Democratic Convention was Michelle Obama. Not Barack Obama, not Joe Biden, not Ted Kennedy, but Michelle Obama’s speech. She gave a window to the American people into who she is, and what she is, and what really goes through her brain. And it was absolutely just incredible, and I promise you, it’s real."
Immediately following the speech last night, Biden remarked, "I don’t want to make a speech after that!"
Then, as he left the Pepsi Center, he said, "This woman is gonna be the finest first lady this country has ever had. She is incredible."
At breakfast this morning, Biden was accompanied by family members, including his wife Jill, sons Beau and Hunter, daughter Ashley, and others.
Of course, the Democratic running mate would have been remiss today to not mention the other half of his party’s ticket, and praised Obama as someone who’s "going to transform the world."
"This guy’s got it," Biden said of the prospective Democratic presidential nominee. "He’s going to make you proud, and I am honored to be part of making sure, helping to make sure, I hope, that the first African-American, the first guy who looks at things from a perspective like no one I’ve worked with — and I’ve been around a long time — gets to be president of the United States. Because he’ll not only transform the country, he’s going to transform the world. And I’m glad to be on the trip with him."