DES MOINES, Iowa — The former vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, made a visit to the Hawkeye state for a meet and great with voters Friday night.
Jill Biden was accompanied by her granddaughter, Natalie, who is the daughter of the Biden’s late son, Beau.
Their visit comes the night after her husband went head to head with nine other candidates in the second Democratic debate in Miami on Thursday.
Biden faced attacks from a younger rival, Sen. Kamala Harris throughout the night. Notably, the California senator called out Biden for a recent comment he made about his past work with two segregationist senators.
“It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on segregation of race in this country,” Harris said.
Biden defended himself at the debate and again in Chicago at a campaign event Friday morning.
“I respect Senator Harris but we all know that 30 seconds to 60 seconds on a campaign debate exchange can’t do justice to a lifetime committed to civil rights,” he said.
At Jill’s meet and greet event in Des Moines, she briefly mentioned the debate but didn’t speak about her husband’s performance.
However, she reiterated to voters why she and her family felt it was important for Joe to seek the office of presidency.
“People were desperate to beat Trump,” she said. “The cries got louder. ‘He has to run. Joe has to run.'”
She also mentioned why he decided to not run for president in 2016, due to the loss of their son Beau, who died from cancer.
“Those of you here who have children know that if you lost a child, it’s not like you ever move on from it,” she said. “And to run for president in 2016, if you can’t have your heart and your soul in it, you just can’t do it.”
Despite some national criticism that followed his performance in the debate, Biden’s supporters at the event remained unfazed.
“Do I feel he was as strong? I think he was real,” Kelly Donnelly said.
Another supporter, Gano Whetstone, said his responses exceeded her expectations.
“I thought he did a tremendous job defending himself on those attacks,” she said.
Jill Biden and her granddaughter will visit three other cities on Saturday — Ankeny, Boone and Ames. She and her husband will return to Iowa the following week for the Des Moines parade and other events.