Every time Biden compared his views with Warren’s, he held himself out as pursuing “common sense” and having a positive vision of helping the poor and working class.

“It’s not about punishing the rich, which is the fundamental premise of Elizabeth — who’s smart as hell and a good person,” Biden said. “It’s about, What do we do about the fact that the middle class has lost an incredible amount of wealth and has not seen a pay raise?”

Biden and Warren in fact had quite a history by that point. Warren had been an antagonist of Biden’s in 2002, when she criticized him in a New York Times op-ed for his support of a bill that made it harder for consumers to declare bankruptcy.