Former Vice President Joe Biden says that there is no way he would have ever agreed to replace Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic nominee, even though he had reservations about her campaign tactics.
Mr Biden was asked about former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile’s claim in her new book, “Hacks”, where she said she’d considered replacing Ms Clinton with Mr Biden over health concerns.
“I would have never done that,” Mr Biden said on NBC’s Today show Monday.
The former vice president and senator who supported Ms Clinton with both an endorsement and relentless campaigning for the Democratic nominee as election day grew closer last year, has cited trauma over his son Beau’s death as a major deciding factor in his ultimate absence from the race. But he wasn’t without concerns.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks, there was no discussion of issues” in her campaign, Mr Biden said.
Since handing the keys for the vice presidential residence over to Vice President Mike Pence earlier this year, Mr Biden has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump. He has also been non-committal when it comes to whether he’ll run for president in 2020.
“I’ve done it a long time,” Mr Biden said in a Snapchat interview reviewed by the Associated Press and slated to go live Tuesday, referring to his runs for president in 1988 and 2008. But I’m “just not sure it’s the appropriate thing for me to do.”
Mr Biden said that he isn’t laying the groundwork for a run, at least not at this point.
“I’m not doing anything to run,” he said in the Snapchat interview. “I’m not taking names, I’m not raising money, I’m not talking to anybody, but something’s got to happen.”
That said, he noted that he’s open to a run if “no one steps up.”
The Democratic field in 2020 is shaping up to be robust. Emboldened by Mr Trump’s historically low poll numbers, the potential number of candidates for the Democratic nomination has jumped into the double-digits.
Whether someone who Mr Biden sees as worthy of the challenge of taking on Mr Trump will step up, is another question. A son of Scranton, Pennsylvania — the type of working class town that saw Mr Trump gain a surprisingly robust following in 2016 — Mr Biden appealed to his blue collar roots frequently on the campaign trail in 2016 when trying to boost Ms Clinton.
With that background in mind, and his decades of public service, sources close to Mr Biden have indicated to Politico that he views himself as the only one capable of taking on the President at this current moment in history.
“He’s a great respecter of fate,” one person said of Mr Biden, and his contemplation of another run. “At some point, it may turn into fate and planning.”
Mr Biden, whose personal life was overshadowed by grief right at the time he would have needed to decide to run in 2016, has plenty of time. Just one Democrat has officially announced his candidacy for 2020. But, with just under a year before the midterm elections, there’s also plenty of time for others to show Mr Biden he can confidently decline a third run at the presidency.