Biden Vital Voices

Story highlights

After a bully bothered Biden's sister, he "smashed his head next to the counter" and threatened to kill him

The point of the story was that Biden stood up for his sister and his father was proud of him for it

The remarks came at an event where Biden was recognized for being a man who combats violence against women

The vice president, who grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, had a history of fighting as a child

Washington CNN  — 

Vice President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday night about how, as a child, he stood up to a local bully by smashing the boy’s head and threatening to kill him.

The remarks, which were published by the Daily Beast, came at an event organized by Vital Voices, a women’s rights group, where Biden was recognized as a man who combats violence against women.

Biden set the scene during the speech by detailing how his family would stop by a doughnut shop after Mass every Sunday.

“We’d get donuts, and my dad would wait in the car. As I was coming out, my sister tugged on me and said, ‘That’s the boy who kicked me off my bicycle,’” Biden recalled. “So I went home, we only lived about a quarter mile away, and I got on my bicycle and rode back and he was in the doughnut shop.”

Biden then said he walked up behind the boy, who was with his parents, and “smashed his head next to the counter.”

When the crowd applauded, Biden said, “I’m not recommending it.”

After the scuffle, Biden says the boy’s father grabbed him. The future vice president then said to both son and father, “If you ever touch my sister again, I’ll come back here and I’ll kill your son.”

“Now, that was a euphemism,” Biden said, getting to the point of the story. “I thought I was really, really in trouble. My father never once raised his hand to any one of his children — never once — and I thought I was in trouble. He pulled me aside and said, ‘Joey, you shouldn’t do that, but I’m proud of you, son.’”

Six times Joe Biden aimed for the truth and caused a headache

Biden has a substantial record of combating violence against women. As a senator in 1990, he introduced the Violence Against Women Act, legislation that changed law enforcement response and criminal justice sentencing for crimes against women.

The oldest of four siblings, Biden was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania until age 11. In 1953, his family moved to the Delaware would regularly make the short trip to visit family in Scranton.

Scranton also appears to have molded Biden into a fighter, too.

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In a 2012 interview with the AP, Tom Bell, a Biden childhood friend from Scranton, retold a story about how he asked Biden to beat up a bully next time he was in town. Biden, according to Bell, did just that.

Richard Ben Cramer, in the seminal book “What It Takes: The Way to the White House,” also documented Biden’s fighting steak.

“Once Joey [Biden] set his mind, it was like he didn’t think at all—he just did,” Cramer wrote. “That’s why you didn’t want to fight him. Most guys who got into a fight, they’d square off, there’d be a minute or so of circling around, while they jockeyed for position. Joey didn’t do that. He decided to fight … BANGO—he’d punch the guy in the face.”

Cramer noted that this fighting prowess came as much out of necessity as it did out of desire.

“Joe was kind of skinny, and he stuttered, and the kids called him Bye-Bye, for the way he sounded when he tried to say his name,” Cramer wrote. “But Joey would never back down, and he knew how to box, when no one else did.”

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