The award is the greatest civilian honor in America and Joe Biden never knew it was going to be given to him. He had been lured to the event under the belief he was attending a drinks reception. US Vice President Joe Biden broke down in tears yesterday when Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a surprise White House farewell ceremony.

Press play to watch Joe Biden cry throughout the touching presentation after the cut.

In a glowing tribute to the 74-year-old, President Obama described him as a ‘lion of American history’ “as good a man as God ever created”  and ‘the best Vice President America has ever had’.

Obama gushed about the former Delaware Senator, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 before joining forces with the man who defeated him.

“To know Joe Biden is to know that love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully. I’m proud to award the presidential medal of distinction to my brother.”

Stunned, Vice President Biden returned Obama’s gushing praise in an emotional speech where he revealed how the President offered to help his family financially as his late son Beau battled brain cancer. About the event, he said:

‘I had no inkling.
‘I thought we were coming over Michelle, for you and Jill, and for Barack and I to toast one another and say what an incredible journey it’s been.’


He went on to thank the Obamas for their friendship, telling the President emotionally as he left the podium: ‘I don’t deserve this’.

Mr President you have crept into our heart, you and your whole family, and you occupy it.  Mr President, I am indebted to you. I am indebted you your family. You know as long as there’s breath in me, I’ll be there for you and your whole family and I know it is reciprocal.Joe Biden Rec

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