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In an interview with CNN, Joe Biden told Chris Cuomo that "I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at ..." referencing Kamala Harris' attack on his history with racial issues in last week's Democratic debate.

The big picture: Joe Biden had previously shied away from doing interviews as he leads the Democratic field in the polls.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
Biden on key questions:
  • On tapping out during the racial conversation in the debate, citing time limits: "In 30 seconds? Come on, man.... Well we've never had a place where you have 30 seconds, man. What I didn't want to do was get in that scrum. Do you think the American public looks at that debate and thought, 'Oh boy, I really like the way that's being conducted, they're really showing themselves to do really well.' Come on, man."
  • VP: "I think it'd be great to have a female VP, and if I don't win, it'd be great to have a female president."
  • On immigration: Biden said crossing the border illegally should not be decriminalized, that those seeking asylum should "have a chance to make their case," and that money should be spent in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to improve conditions in those countries.
  • On wanting to provide health care for undocumented migrants: "This is just common decency...In an emergency they should have health care. Everybody should. How do you say, 'You're undocumented, I'm gonna let you die, man?'"
  • On Medicare for All: "If you provide an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All, they can buy in.... But if they like their employer-based insurance, which a lot of unions broke their neck to get, they shouldn't have to give it up.... If you don't go my way ... you have to give up all of that. What's going to happen when you have 300 million people landing on a health care plan? How long is that going to take? In the meantime, a lot of people are going to be in trouble."
  • On the ACA's individual mandate: "Yes, I'd bring back the individual mandate."
  • NATO: "If he wins reelection, I promise you, there'll be no NATO in 4 years or 5 years."
  • On approach to North Korea: "I'd make it real clear: Look you want to talk, you want to deal with us, you want sanctions lifted? Show me something, ahead of time."
  • On the Democratic political spectrum: "I think Ocasio-Cortez is a brilliant, bright woman, but she won a primary. In the general election fights, who won? Mainstream Democrats who are very progressive on social issues and very strong on education and health care. My north star is the middle class."

Go deeper

57 mins ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.

Roger Stone won't cooperate with Jan. 6 panel

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone speaking in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone won't cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and will invoke the Fifth Amendment right not to testify, his attorney said Tuesday evening.

Why it matters: The announcement, first reported by ABC News, came hours after former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he wouldn't cooperate with the probe.