Biden, taken aback, plodded through a response. She was mischaracterizing his position, he said. That’s not what he stood for, and she knew that. He found his way to the end of the answer and stopped speaking.
A few minutes later, the moderators paused for a commercial break. Biden leaned over to Pete Buttigieg, at the podium to his right. They barely knew each other, but Biden was looking for someone to share the moment with.
“Well,” he said, according to multiple people to whom the conversation was relayed afterward. “That was some f---ing bullshit.”...
The aides could do the political maneuvering after Harris’ attack. Jill was and is the guardian of the Biden honor, the Biden id. She couldn’t bear to watch a woman who called herself a friend of her son’s—although Beau was not her biological child, she’d raised him his entire life as if he were—try to tear her husband down, to score a point at a debate.
“With what he cares about, what he fights for, what he’s committed to, you get up there and call him a racist without basis?” she said on a phone call with close supporters a week later, according to multiple people on the call. “Go f--- yourself.”