Joe Biden: The fight against cancer is bipartisan

Ultimately, the former Senator from DE revealed that he - and his family - "didn't have the stomach to do it", meaning run for president. "For us, it was the death of our beloved son, Beau", Jill Biden said.

But the tone took a serious turn as Biden credited the death of his son, "my Beau" Biden, who died at 46 years old almost two years ago due to brain cancer, as the reason behind his anticancer crusade.

Two themes were stresses: hope and collaboration. After he left office, he said, he was approached about such an initiative by prominent scientists including Eric Lander at M.I.T., who was co-chair of President Obama's scientific advisory council.

Biden spoke at SXSW about cancer research and the Biden Foundation cancer initiative, which will "continue his work to inject a sense of urgency into our cancer research enterprise and to reimagine how the government, academia, non-profits and the private sector can better organize their resources and systems to collaborate to take on cancer", according to the Biden Foundation website. "We need you. You're the future", said Biden, drawing cheers and a standing ovation. "You can make a enormous impact". "Many of you are developing technologies and innovations for purposes large and small, fun and serious, entertaining and life-saving". "It's my hope that this new administration, once it gets organized - and I'm not being facetious - will be able to focus on and be as committed and enthusiastic as we are to the goal of ending cancer".

Biden previously led a White House effort to accelerate developments toward a cure for cancer.

It was clear that Biden had chosen SXSW as the venue to deliver his speech because of its reputation for bringing together technological, scientific and creative professionals. By early Sunday, Biden's event had become such a hot ticket that wristbands ran out immediately and a nearby theater had to be opened to accommodate the overflow. "So cancer doesn't care who you are, what your political views are, and people on both sides of the aisles have lost so many individuals close to them, so this hits home, and let's fight it, let's do something about it", Coy said. We need your ingenuity.

The only reference to Donald Trump came obliquely, when Biden went off the script to vent about a White House Cabinet that doesn't believe in global warming.

"This is not something that we should say, 'Oh, we should solve some time, ' but why not solve it now?" "I can take my cell phone and find out exactly what movie is playing across the country and what times". "It frustrates me", he said with a laugh. He recalled his answer when President Barack Obama asked if he had any regrets about his decision not to run.

"I am unwilling to postpone for one day longer the things we can do now to extend people's lives and so should you be", he said echoing President John F. Kennedy's inspiration for the original space program to put a man on the moon.

  • Larry Hoffman