Biden regrets not being president, but stands behind decision not to run

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Former Vice President Joe Biden greets members of Congress after an event marking the seventh anniversary of the passing of the Affordable Care Act outside the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., March 22, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)
Former Vice President Joe Biden greets members of Congress after an event marking the seventh anniversary of the passing of the Affordable Care Act outside the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., March 22, 2017. (Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Former Vice President Joe Biden admits that when he looks at the White House, he can’t help but wonder what could have been.

“Do I regret not being president? Yes,” Biden said during a discussion at Colgate University on Friday night. “Do I regret not running for president, in light of everything that was going on in my life at the time? No.”

Biden said the 2015 death of his son Beau was too much for him to bear.

“I lost part of my soul,” Biden said. “At the end of the day, I just couldn’t do it.”

“No man or woman should announce for president of the United States unless they can look the public in the eye and say, ‘I promise you I am giving 100 percent of my attention and dedication to this effort,’” he explained.

Still, Biden said he is pretty certain that he could have beaten Donald Trump, who once said he would “love” to take Biden on — in a fistfight.

“I had a lot of data,” Biden said. “I was fairly confident that if I was the Democratic Party nominee, I had a better-than-even chance of being president.”

Biden, though, declined to run, Hillary Clinton became the nominee, and Trump captured the Electoral College to win the presidency.

The former vice president also tore into Trump’s repeated attempts to “delegitimize the press” with claims of “fake news” as “the first act of any political scoundrel.”

But Biden also expressed hope that despite his rocky first two months, Trump can “grow more into the job and understand that the United States is the essential nation in the world in the year 2017.”

“We should all have hope,” he said.

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