Vice President Joe Biden told "60 Minutes" on CBS Sunday that New York Times columnist and resident Beltway diarist Maureen Dowd took some poetic license in a recent column reporting that Biden's ailing son Beau made a heartfelt plea before he died in May for the vice president to run for the White House.
"It wasn’t anything like that," the vice president said.
"When Beau realized he was not going to make it, he asked his father if he had a minute to sit down and talk," Dowd wrote in the August column, titled “Joe Biden in 2016: What Would Beau Do?”
"Beau was losing his nouns and the right side of his face was partially paralyzed. But he had a mission: He tried to make his father promise to run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values," Dowd wrote.
Biden refuted that cinematic portrayal on Sunday.
“Beau all along thought that I should run and I could win," he said. "But there was not what was sort of made out as kind of this Hollywood-esque thing that at the last minute Beau grabbed my hand and said, ‘Dad, you’ve got to run, like, win one for the Gipper.’"
Dowd, who busted Biden for plagiarism in a speech given during his 1987 campaign for the White House, has a history of taking flights of fancy of her own in her columns. She landed in hot water in 2013 for misquoting Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, for which she later apologized.
Dowd also ginned up a quote in 2004, which still makes the rounds among journalists and politicos, from Secretary of State John Kerry during his presidential run: "Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?" She had heard the quote secondhand from a Times colleague and decided to put that version in her column.