Former Vice President Joe Biden moves town hall audience to tears as he opens up about how he dealt with his stutter

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about how he overcame his stutter at a CNN town hall that moved some audience members to tears.

  • He talked about how he used to be "embarrassed" of his speech impediment growing up, and how he eventually came to accept that it wasn't his fault that he couldn't control it.

  • He capitalized on the importance of empathy, and how people need "to reach out a little more" to those who need it.

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Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden opened up about how he dealt with his stutter throughout his life during a CNN town hall, moving members of the audience to tears.

Biden said he eventually overcame his stutter by practicing speeches to himself in the mirror and imitated the "torture face" he would get when he couldn't make out a whole sentence due to his stutter.

He talked about how he was "embarrassed" of his stutter growing up, but that he no longer feels that shame.

"Things that people cannot control, it's not their fault," Biden said. "No one has a right, no one has a right to mock it and make fun of it, no matter who they are."

The former vice president went on to emphasize the power of empathy, and how a simple phrase like "I know how you feel" can reinforce someone enough to think, "I guess there's a way through. I guess I can make it."

Biden said he empathized with the conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, who announced he had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Limbaugh was a controversial recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

"I probably got in trouble for saying empathize with Rush Limbaugh dying of cancer," Biden said. "I don't like him at all, but he's going through hell right now. He's a human being."

Biden said this type of consideration is something that is lacking in the US, both in and out of politics. The government remains bitterly divided following a high-tension impeachment inquiry, pinning Democrats and Republicans — both congresspeople and civilians — against each other.

"We just have to reach out a little more for people; we don't do it enough," Biden said. "We got to heal this country. As a nation, we didn't use to be like this."

Watch Biden's response at the CNN town hall here:

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