Vice President Joe Biden and 'Late Show' host Stephen Colbert (John Paul Filo/CBS via AP)

Vice President Joe Biden and ‘Late Show’ host Stephen Colbert (John Paul Filo/CBS via AP)

Vice President Joe Biden, known for his candid moments, talked with Stephen Colbert Thursday about his grief over his son’s death and how that has affected his decision about whether he should enter the 2016 presidential race.

Biden has been mourning his son, Beau, since the man’s death of brain cancer in May. While Thursday’s interview started off lighthearted, the chatter soon turned to Beau, when Colbert gave the vice president his condolences.

They discussed Beau and Biden’s Roman Catholic faith. At one point, the vice president notes: 

I would feel like I’d let Beau down if I didn’t just get up.

Colbert then asked the question on much of the electorate’s mind: “I want to talk about the elephant in the room which, in this case, is a donkey. Do you have anything you would like to tell us right now about your plans?” Colbert said.

Biden quipped, “Yes, I think you should run for president again and I’ll be your vice president.”

Colbert pressed him, so Biden continued:

I don’t think, any man or woman should run for president unless, No. 1, they know exactly why they would want to be president, and 2, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this.’ And I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there.

He’s still breaking down over Beau’s death, he told Colbert. He described one moment when he was greeting soldiers at a rope line.

All of a sudden, it was going great, and a guy in the back yells, ‘Major Beau Biden. Bronze Star, sir. I served with him in Iraq,’ and all of a sudden I lost it…  How could you… I shouldn’t be saying this — and you can’t do that.

It echoes what the vice president said a week ago: That he would only run if he and his family had the “emotional energy” to do so.

Earlier in the show, some members of the audience called out that Biden should get into the race.

“Be careful what you wish for,” he replied with a laugh.