Biden sounds like he's running, says he'll make a decision next summer

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 7, 2014 

Vice President Joe Biden is sounding increasingly like a 2016 presidential contender, telling CNN's New Day that "there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run."

Biden, who joked earlier this week in a speech to the United Auto Workers a chance to drive a 2014 Corvette Stingray was a reason not to run, tells CNN today that he can't come up with another reason not to run.

"There may be reasons I don't run," Biden said. "But there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run."

He even gave a timetable for a decision, saying "realistically, a year this summer."

He said the decision to run or not will be based on "whether I am the best qualified person to focus on the two things I've spent my whole life on, giving ordinary people a fighting chance to make it, and a sound foreign policy that's based on rational interests of the United States, where we not only are known for the power of our military, but the power of our example."

He touted the "future for this country," saying "I know people think I'm too optimistic. But it is incredible. There's so much just within our grasp. Doesn't mean I'm the only guy that can do it, but if no one else, I think, can, and I think I can, then I'd run. If I don't, I won't."

Biden also said the task force reviewing federal jobs training programs he's leading at President Obama's request is "much more than a task force. It's about how do we create wider avenues to the middle class."

And he suggested that House Speaker John Boehner's statement that immigration is unlikely this year is due to pressure from conservatives to his right.

"He's getting, understandably, not a criticism, a great deal of pressure from the right, that wants no part of this," Biden said. "I think he'll work his way through this. I still think we can get this done. It doesn't take much time."

He said a bill without a path to citizenship is "clearly not our preference," but wouldn't say if the White House would refuse to support a bill without one.

"You see the way the hard right responds to anything the president says," Biden said. "So the president is being very smart. He's saying what passed, we support. See what you guys pass and then we'll respond, because what you don't want to do is create more problems for John Boehner in being able to bring this up." Biden also pushed back against concerns from some Senate Democrats in tight races who don't want Obama campaigning for them, calling it "not universally true.

"In the states we lost, the states where we lost the presidential race, that may be the case," he said, but he added that he's been invited to "well over 128 races so far."

"There are some places the president is considerably more popular than I am, but there's some places where I can go in and the president can't," Biden said. "There are some places where it makes no sense for me to go in or for the president to go in."

He said he's optimistic about Democrats' chances, "no matter what the polls say," arguing that the "American public agrees with us on the issues."

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