Biden: Clinton won't really affect his 2016 decision
January 29th, 2014
09:09 AM ET
4 years ago

Biden: Clinton won't really affect his 2016 decision

Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden says Hillary Clinton's decision on whether she will or won't run for president in 2016 will not directly impact his own decision on whether to launch another bid for the White House.

And Biden, making the rounds on the morning network newscasts, said he thinks he'd "make a good president."

Speaking hours after President Barack Obama gave the annual State of the Union address, the Vice President backed up his boss's move to use executive actions, but like Obama, Biden said the White House would not be bypassing Congress. And he highlighted policy differences between himself and former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, who's recent criticism of Biden in a new book made headlines.

On whether he'll make a third run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that "I haven't made a decision what I'm going to do. I haven't decided to run or not run," adding that  "I'll make that decision later but now is not the time to talk about that. Now is time to talk about the opportunity we have this year."

But he's confident that he'd make a good president, saying on the "Today Show" on NBC that "in my heart, I'm confident that I could make a good president. It's a very different decision to decide whether or not to run for president. And there's plenty of time to do that."

Clinton's said she'll decide by the end of this year whether she'll launch a second bid for the White House. National polling indicates that if she does jump into the race, the former Secretary of State would instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

When asked on "CBS This Morning" whether Clinton's decision will affect his own decision making process, the Vice President said "no, not directly. The only reason a man or woman would run for president, and I'm sure Hillary thinks the exact same way, is that they think they're in a better position to help the nation at the moment and what is the plan you have for your the country, and that's the only thing."

The CBS interview was the third in a row to end with questions about 2016, and when anchor Charlie Rose apologized to Biden for cutting him off during his answer regarding the next race for the White House, the Vice President said "that's OK. I'm glad to stop talking about it."

On the use of executive actions, Biden said on CBS that "most of the big things do have to go through Congress and the President said 'I want Congress to do that.' As a matter of fact, as I sat there with (House Speaker) John Boehner, he and I were talking about, before the President spoke, the prospects of moving on immigration."

But he added that "we're just not going to sit around and wait for the Congress if they choose not to act"

On NBC,  the Vice President said that "you're seeing more cooperation with the Congress this year than you have the past five years," but added that "he (President Obama) said there's a lot of other avenues I can move, as well."

According to a CNN/ORC International poll of Americans who watched the State of the Union address, only three in ten said that the President should make unilateral changes to deal with major issues, with two-thirds saying that Obama should seek bipartisan compromise.

Asked about Gates writing in a book that Biden was wrong on almost ever major decision in the past 40 years, the former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman talked about how he and the former Defense Secretary didn't see eye to eye on many matters.

"Bob and I like each other, we both acknowledge each other possess integrity, as he said in his book, but we have disagreed for 40 years. I thought we should end the war in Vietnam, that's why I ran. He didn't think that. I thought Iran Contra was a disaster, he thought it was a good idea. I thought (Mikhail) Gorbachev was an agent of change. You remember, he encouraged Reagan not to view him as an agent of change. I thought we should have war crime tribunals in Bosnia. He thought we shouldn't. I thought we should end this war in Afghanistan, after taking care of al Qaeda which we're about to finish doing. He didn't. The president said last night, 'it's time to end the war in Afghanistan.' That's not Bob's position," Biden said on CBS.

But Biden added on NBC that Gates is "a fine man."

As for security concerns at the upcoming Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia, the Vice President said "I'd send my own family with the same caveats. Make sure they were very vigilant, kept their eyes open," adding that Americans attending the games should "register with the State Department and pay very much attention."
CNN's Diane Ruggiero and Mary Grace Lucas contributed to this report

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "Go Joe!" Nah, that battle cry is old. Pretty corny, too. Unfortunately for Mr. Veep, I think his window of best opportunity passed him by in 2008, just like it did for Hillary Clinton.

    January 29, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Randyk

    I actually think Biden would be a good president. I'm not sure he'd make a good candidate.

    It's unfortunate that those two things aren't the same thing.

    January 29, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. smith

    Sorry Joe Biden, Hil-dogg will cream you on her way to 2016. Besides, you don't fit in with the party anymore.

    January 29, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Rudy NYC


    Sorry Joe Biden, Hil-dogg will cream you on her way to 2016. Besides, you don't fit in with the party anymore.
    "Hill-dogg"? You definitely don't fit in, either, so you can stop pretending.

    January 29, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    I am getting the impression that baggers don't like democrats or helping our country either. They are the party of Putin/Snowden 2016.

    January 29, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. SpgfldTom

    Months ago I predicted the Biden/Sebelius '16 presidential ticket. Who is laughing now? OK, the entire world (except North Korea where laughing is outlawed). I wouldn't let Biden valet park your car!

    January 29, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. JackBriss

    He would make a carbon copy of Obama, What a tragedy that would be.

    January 29, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    What! Rudy NYC, is bashing Ms.Clinton? what is world coming too? lol

    January 29, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. louenglish

    As old as these two are we have less a political race and more a stroke off.

    January 29, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Michael

    I wouldn't vote Biden for dog catcher.

    January 29, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. R Long

    Biden would lose worse than Hillary is going to.. Benghazi is stuck on them, and they cant shed it. Obamacare is stuck on them.. Dems, face it, the ride is over. Republicans will own all 3 for at least 2 years and we can get alot of things fixed before things swing back.. Mostly, we have to eliminate Executive orders.. There is a reason congress is in place, its not so a tyrant can do things independently.. This is America, not Germany, not Russia, not Cuba... We vote for the people who make our laws and that is Congress, not the President.. Obama has ruined this country for the last 5 years and it will go on probably for at least 4 more after he is gone..

    January 29, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    But seriously, everybody said 2008 was gonna be MS.Clinton all the way to the white house. then the 'Great one'....let's just say had different plan. Here is the problem. If Clinton wants to win,she has to point out all of the flaws in Obama.. But, if she does that,then 50% of black voters will be very upset and stay home.

    January 29, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. The REAL Truth...

    @J'Cincinnati'Redd – If Clinton wants to win,she has to point out all of the flaws in Obama.
    Why???? she's not running against Obama – if she runs. She will be running against other Dems (assuming that Biden runs) and whatever organism the GOP manages to push thru the nomination process... In that situation, there's not one single GOP candidate that can hold a candle to her. ALL Dem's will rally around whomever their nominee is.. and that will be the end of any GOP chances in 2016.

    January 29, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. Bob Johnson

    "instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner": particularly to Republicans that know how many Democratic and Independent
    voters would NOT vote for her.

    January 29, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. smith


    What! Rudy NYC, is bashing Ms.Clinton? what is world coming too? lol
    She's not enough of a radical liberal for

    January 29, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. with a grain of salt

    R long: long on wind, short on facts, perfect gop voter.

    January 29, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. with a grain of salt

    Right, gop sweep, take your meds and a knap

    January 29, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Lizzie

    The REAL Truth... To YOU it will not matter WHO runs as long as it is from the donkey party.

    January 29, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. John, PA

    Can just see and hear all the TV and radio ads; “What does it matter”, What does it matter”, What does it matter” the new home alarm system to scare away everyone (ala Howard Dean).

    Two thirds of the government is being run by Democrats; you have to learn; this is what you get when Democrats are in charge; it’s not hard to imagine how bad it will get with Hillary Clinton as one third of that.

    January 29, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Malory Archer

    I closed my eyes while listening to Cathy McMorris-Rogers' speech and was struck by how much she sounded like the "Veridian Dynamics" spokesrobot from the hilarious, yet short-lived television series "Ted" (available on Netflix) who spouted nothing but meaningless talking points about their product.

    An abbriviated version of her speech: I was in 4-H. President Obama baaaaaaaaaaaaaddddd (with no talking points to back it up). "We" have a "plan" (with no talking points to indicate what she's talking about.

    January 29, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Gunderson

    Joe might be a good prez, but after what we got now, anything looks good, Eh? Joe might be a good Prez but I don't think Joe would be a very good Milkman.. Cause all you get with Joe is a lotta bull.

    January 29, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Get ready for alot of democrat infighting. I got my popcorn soda ready.

    January 29, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Rudy NYC


    What! Rudy NYC, is bashing Ms.Clinton? what is world coming too? lol
    Is that what you call "bashing"? I think you're the one bashing Clinton, because I lumped Clinton and Biden into the same basket.

    January 29, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. sniffy45

    come on, wouldnt you want to have a lose canon like Biden with his finger on the button LOL

    January 29, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Bill D

    Biden seems like a real nice guy, unlike the arrogant Obama. But I don't think he'd make a good president. He seems very Carterish to me.

    January 29, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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