Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Vice president Joe Biden offered up some clear praise to Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in a recent interview, failing to outright endorse the self-declared socialist for president – but coming pretty close.

In an interview with CNN, Biden said Sanders ought to be commended for his “deep and real” focus on poverty issues, particularly income inequality, and while Clinton has offered “thoughtful” ideas, she’s a newbie to the topic.

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“I think that Bernie is speaking to a yearning that is deep and real,” Biden said, the Hill reported. “And he has credibility on that.”

Clinton, by contrast, is only coming to the income equality discussion table just recently, he said.

“It’s relatively new for Hillary to talk about that,” Biden said, the Hill reported. “Hillary’s focus has been on other things up to now. No one questions Bernie’s authenticity on those issues.

Biden also praised Sanders for his gun-control views.

“What Bernie Sanders has to do is say that the Second Amendment says … you can limit who can own a gun, that people who are criminals shouldn’t have guns,” he said. “People who are schizophrenic and have mental illnesses shouldn’t own guns. And he has said that.”

Biden, who has yet to endorse anyone for president, backed out of his own talked-about run late last year and went into a closed-door meeting with Sanders.

The New York Times, in a headline story from October, “Warm in Public, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton Have Been Intense Rivals in Private,” reported the growing rift between the two political power-players. For instance, Biden has expressed shock at Clinton’s handling of her email server scandal, the newspaper reported. And the two reportedly went without speaking for months, in the wake of the death of Biden’s son, Beau, the newspaper said.

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President Obama, meanwhile, reportedly came out in the wake of Beau’s death and offered Biden money to help support his extended family.

In a talk with CNN, Biden said he told Obama of his concern about helping Beau’s family financially, and that he might have to sell his Delaware home in order to provide. But Obama made him promise not to sell the residence, and actually offered money, Biden said.

“He got up and he said, ‘Don’t sell that house. Promise me you won’t sell the house.’ He said, ‘I’ll give you the money. Whatever you need, I’ll give you the money. Don’t Joe, promise me. Promise me.’ I said, ‘I don’t think we’re going to have to anyway.’ He said, ‘Promise me,'” Biden said, CNN reported.

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