MADISON — Former Vice President Joseph Biden was critical of President Donald Trump without mentioning him by name in a speech at Drew University on Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day Biden said he regretted his comments in a podcast that he would "beat the hell" out of President Donald Trump if they were in high school for how he treats women. At Drew, the former and potential presidential candidate told the sold-out Drew crowd he also wished he had been critical of the president earlier, according to NorthJersey.com.

He talked about "the rise of half-baked nationalism and this phony populism" that he said is embraced by a minority of people. "But it sends a terrible message around the world about who we are, and emboldens the seamier side of our society to rise and raise its ugly head," Biden said to the crowd, which included former Gov. Tom Kean, according to an NJ.com photo.

According to NorthJersey.com, Biden said that he and former President Barack Obama had agreed to not criticize Trump for a year. But after the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally last year that left one person dead, he had to speak after comments from "our most important voice, allegedly."

Trump at the time said there was "blame on both sides" and criticized "alt left" groups for violence at the rally.

For now, however, the 75-year-old will stay on the political sidelines. Biden told the crowd he and his family were still in mourning over the 2015 death of his son Beau, and at the moment he is not going to run.

Hillary Clinton, Biden's opponent during the 2016 presidential campaign and secretary of state during Obama's first term, speaks at Rutgers University in New Brunswick at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

 

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