Vice President Biden and Wife Defend Washington Marriages

Vice president and wife discuss secrets for long-term commitment.

ByABC News via logo
February 11, 2010, 6:42 PM

Feb. 12, 2010— -- It seems these days that if a Washington marriage is in the headlines, it because a politician has been caught cheating.

John Edwards' affair and separation from his wife, Elizabeth, and the cheating scandals of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and former N.Y. Gov. Elliot Spitzer, had the tabloids churning and Americans wondering what it is that makes a politician stray from his spouse?

But Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, said that political marriages have gotten a bad name recently, and those examples are not indicative of every relationship in Washington.

"People say, you know, 'Oh, everybody cheats in Washington,' and that's not the truth," she said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America's" Juju Chang. "You have to have a strong marriage to survive it.

"A lot of the couples we know and spent time with have really solid marriages, and I think this lifestyle is too tough not to really stick together," she said. "It's just the ones that are, you know, so newsworthy that sort of get blown out of proportion."

Biden pointed to the first couple's relationship as an example of a partnership.

"Look at the Obamas," she said. "I mean really. Look at their marriage and how strong it is."

Before their favorite holiday, Valentine's Day, the Bidens sat down with Chang to discuss their courtship, marriage and how they have made their relationship work for nearly 35 years.

The vice president said that theirs "is no great love story," and both he and his wife agreed that their relationship has been shaped by the examples set by their parents.

"They truly loved one another, but they had fun together," Jill Biden said. "And they respected one another, and I think that's what we look to marriage to be."

As Joe Biden tells it now, when he met Jill Jacobs in 1975, it was love at first sight. He knew instantly that he would marry her.