Former President Jimmy Carter has asked Joe Biden to deliver his eulogy following his death, the president said Monday.
“He asked me to do his eulogy – excuse me, I shouldn’t say that,” Biden told supporters during remarks at a fundraiser in Rancho Santa Fe, California, according to a pool report.
“I spent time with Jimmy Carter, and it’s finally caught up with him. But they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated, because they found a breakthrough,” the president continued.
Biden was likely referring to Carter’s long battle with cancer. In 2015, the former president announced that four spots of cancer had spread to his brain, but following treatment, he was pronounced cancer-free in December of that year.
He faced a series of health scares in 2019 and consequentially underwent surgery to remove pressure on his brain. His health woes forced him to give up his decadeslong tradition of teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.
The Carter Center announced last month that the former president had decided to begin receiving hospice care at his home in Georgia.
“After a series of short hospital stays, former US President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention. He has the full support of his family and his medical team,” the center, which Carter founded along with his wife, Rosalynn, in hopes of advancing world peace and health, said at the time.
CNN reported last month that Biden had been advised of the former president’s declining health and his decision to seek hospice care. The fellow Democrat and longtime Carter admirer was staying in close contact with the Carter family and the former president’s close circle of advisers.
Biden last saw Carter during a visit to Plains in 2021.
Carter, who turned 98 last year, became the oldest living US president in history after the passing of George H.W. Bush, who died in late 2018 at 94. The nation’s 39th president has kept a low public profile in recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic but has continued to speak out about risks to democracy around the world, a longtime cause of his.