Updated Mar 14, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden says Jimmy Carter asked him to deliver his eulogy

Then-Sen. Joe Biden, former president Jimmy Carter, and Jill Biden watch the proceedings on day two of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver, Colorado, in 2008.

Then-Sen. Joe Biden, former president Jimmy Carter, and Jill Biden at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Biden said former President Jimmy Carter asked him to deliver his eulogy after he dies, per a White House pool report Monday night.

Driving the news: Biden made the comments while discussing the health issues of Carter, who's receiving hospice care, during a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser in Rancho Santa Fe, California, which was attended by about 40 guests.

  • Biden was speaking about the revived Cancer Moonshot plan that aims to reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years while also calling for funding for the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health, or ARPA-H — which would focus on breakthrough health care and technology innovations.

What he's saying: "I spent time with Jimmy Carter and it's finally caught up with him," Biden said, according to the pool report.

  • "But they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated because they found a breakthrough," he added.
  • "He asked me to do his eulogy. Excuse me, I shouldn't say that."

The big picture: The Carter Foundation announced last month that the 98-year-old longest-living U.S. president had "decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care."

Of note: Biden and Carter have enjoyed a friendship that's spanned decades.

  • The first presidential endorsement that then-Gov. Carter received from an elected official outside of Georgia came in 1976 from a young Sen. Biden, per Axios' Emma Hurt.
  • In an endorsement message for Biden in 2020, Carter called him his "first and most effective supporter in the Senate" and "my loyal and dedicated friend."

Go deeper: How Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden built an enduring friendship

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional details throughout.

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