The Democratic nominee shared a clip from his interview on the podcast "Unlocking Us with Brené Brown," which was released early on Wednesday.
"America was an idea, an idea," Biden declared. "'We hold these truths to be self evident.' We've never lived up to it, but we've never walked away from it before. And I just think we have to be more honest. Let our kids know, as we raise them, what actually did happen. Acknowledge our mistakes so we don't repeat them."
Biden summarized the remark by tweeting, "America was an idea. We've never lived up to it but we've never walked away from it before."
Biden was slammed by critics, including members of the Trump 2020 Campaign.
"Joe Biden’s closing argument is that America has always been a disappointment," Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh reacted.
"@JoeBiden Where have you been for 47 years? America is the greatest nation in the world. We stand for freedom and opportunity for all. Our nation is filled with strong, innovative and hard-working individuals who love this nation & don’t want to fundamentally transform it," Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp wrote.
"47 years, 0 accomplishments. Americans deserve better than your apology tour," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted.
"When my father lay wounded on a beach in the Pacific defending his country in World War II, America more than lived up to her promise. When Americans walked on the moon, we were the brightest star in the firmament. If you weren’t owned by China, you might love this country, too," actor James Woods scolded the former VP.
"'We’ve never lived up to it'? Speak for yourself, man!" Center for American Liberty founder and trial lawyer Harmeet Dhillon exclaimed. "This immigrant is so grateful to be an American — and I never diss her or take her for granted."
Biden likely thought that his words sounded good in terms of placating to activists who want most of the country to feel guilty about the color of their skin or feel ashamed of the past, and perhaps this sentiment landed well with the unpatriotic.
But most of Twitter seemed utterly horrified to hear from the Democratic nominee for president that their country, which millions have fought and died for, was nothing more to him than a past "idea."