He revealed the details about his first month as president as his 75 minute town hall with CNN came to a close.
As he spoke about the weight he feels being commander in chief, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked of him: ‘Have you picked up the phone and called any former president yet?’
‘Yes, I have,’ Biden confirmed.
‘Do you want to say who?’
Biden declined to talk specifics, citing privacy reasons, but noted all but one living president has reached out to him.
‘They’re private conversations,’ Biden said of his talks with his predecessors. ‘But, by the way, all of them have with one exception picked up the phone to call me as well.’
The living presidents are Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. All were at Biden’s inauguration except for Carter – who wanted to attend but didn’t because of his age and COVID concerns – and Trump, who refused to go after losing the presidency.
‘I know you don’t want to talk about him but,’ Cooper replied as the audience burst into laughter.
Joe Biden said he’s talked to all the living presidents with the exception of one
Biden didn’t say which former president has not reached out to him but the implication was that it was Donald Trump
Biden also revealed that, despite eight years working with Obama and a close relationship, he had never been in the White House residence – above President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with their daughters Sasha and Malia watch the World Cup soccer game between the U.S. and Japan in the White House residence in July 2011
Biden didn’t reveal the former president who hasn’t called him but his implication seemed clear. And Cooper’s comment referenced an earlier remark Biden made about Trump, when he was asked about the former president’s impeachment trial.
‘For four years, all that’s been in the news is Trump. The next four years, I want to make sure all the news is the American people. I’m tired of talking about Trump,’ Biden said.
As his town hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, came to a close, Biden said he is still in awe of living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the home of every president except George Washington.
‘I get up in the morning and look at Jill and say, “Where the hell are we,”‘ Biden said, referring to his wife of more than forty years.
He says that despite being president only four weeks it feels like four years.
‘It’s not because of the burden is because there’s so much happening that you focus on, you’re constantly focusing on one problem or opportunity,’ he said.
He also revealed that, despite eight years working with Obama and a close relationship between the two men, he had never been in the White House residence.
‘I had never been up in the residence,’ Biden noted.
He praised the residence staff – who generally stay on the job from one president to another and are known for their discretion – but admitted it was hard for a guy from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to get used to being waited upon.
‘I don’t know about you all but I was raised in a way that you didn’t look for anybody to wait on you,’ he said. ‘And it’s where I find myself extremely self conscious. There are wonderful people that work in the White House. But someone standing there and, you know, making sure I hands me my suit coat.’
Cooper interrupted to follow up on Biden’s earlier statement. ‘Wait you had never been in the residence of the White House?’ he asked.
‘I only been upstairs in the, in the yellow room, you know, that the oval upstairs,’ Bide said, referring to the president’s private living room on the second floor.
‘I don’t know. I’ve never been there,’ Cooper responded to laughter from the audience.
Biden said all his former Oval Office predecessors have reached out with one exception – above he and Barack Obama fist bump on his inauguration day
Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton at Biden’s inauguration
Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush at Biden’s inauguration
Biden has established a regular routine in the White House, CNN reported, with coffee in the mornings with first lady Jill Biden, meetings and phone calls from the Oval Office starting just after 9 a.m. and a return to his residence by 7 p.m.
He carries his paperwork in a brown leather suitcase and often has a fire going in the fire place in the Oval Office, which he sometimes tends to himself.
His dogs, two German Shepherds called Major and Champ, are around.
Biden, a devout Catholic, ended his town hall by saying he prays for guidance to lead the country.
‘I literally pray that I have the capacity to do for the country. What you all deserve need be done,’ he said.