The University of Utah agreed to pay former Vice President Joe Biden $100,000 to speak on campus last month, but when Biden heard the money would come from state coffers he declined the check.
That’s according to The New York Times, which used a public records request to get a copy of the U.’s contract with Biden for a story that explores how the former vice president is preparing for a potential 2020 presidential run.
The contract, negotiated through Creative Artists Agency, also required the university to fly him and his aides to Salt Lake City on a private plane at a cost of about $10,000, buy 1,000 copies of Biden’s most recent book to give to the audience and agree not to use the word “former” before “vice president” in social media.
While in Utah, Biden didn’t bring up a presidential campaign, nor was he asked about it. Instead, he talked about his upbringing, his entrance into politics and the 2015 death of Beau, his son.
Biden, 76, is expected to announce his political plans in the coming weeks. The Times reports that Biden has been careful about how he raises money to avoid criticism that Hillary Clinton received during the 2016 campaign. His advisers decided it wouldn’t be appropriate to take $100,000 in taxpayer money to speak to U. students.
To read the full New York Times story, click here.
Mark Matheson, with the U.'s MUSE program, said the university offered to buy 1,000 books, and that offer was added to the contract. The books were not given to those in the audience during or after the speech, instead, people could get one for free by stopping by the MUSE office.