By Nick Romano
September 05, 2019 at 08:54 AM EDT

Stephen Colbert is one of the least soft-ball interviews from the late-night talk show circuit. So, when former Vice President Joe Biden came on The Late Show this week, Colbert took some time to address all the presidential candidate’s recent gaffes.

“You want to talk about issues, but a lot of people want to talk about your gaffes,” the host began. He then listed a string of Biden’s flubs that are grabbing headlines and voter attention. “In the last few weeks, you confused New Hampshire for Vermont, said that Bobby Kennedy and MLK were assassinated in the late ’70s, assured us ‘I am not going nuts,'” Colbert continued. “Follow-up question: Are you going nuts?”

At first, Biden led with his sense of humor. “Look, the reason I came on the Jimmy Kimmel show is because I’m not,” he joked. But then, when asked if it’s fair for people to go after his mistakes, the 2020 presidential candidate hopeful said, “Any gaffe that I have made — and I made gaffes, like every politician I know has — have been not about a substantive issue. I’m trying to talk about what other people have done.”

Biden pointed to the media coverage of a story he told in August about going to pin a Silver Star on a Navy captain for his heroism in Afghanistan, per The Washington Post. Colbert clarified, also in a joking manner, that the press said “the branch of the military was wrong” in this story “and the date was wrong and the act he was awarded for was wrong and the medal was wrong and what position you held at the time.”

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

“It’s a different thing to say when you’re talking about honoring the bravery or the sacrifice or what other people went through and the essence of it is absolutely true,” Biden said. “The fact that I said that I was vice president [at the time of the medal pinning], well, in one case I was vice president elect, the other case I was a senator. I’m not sure that’s relevant, but I don’t get wrong things like, there is a, we should lock kids up in cages at the border.”

Biden previously told NPR about his gaffes that “the details are irrelevant in terms of decision-making.”

When Colbert brought up that quote, Biden added, “Those details are irrelevant. The point I was making is absolutely accurate.”

“That some details are relevant?” Colbert asked. “Because that’s where the Devil lives, is in the details.”

In a feat of verbal acrobatics, Biden replied, “The Devil lives in the details if the details that you’re talking about would affect the outcome of something that is about to happen or should happen.”

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