November 5th, 2007
10:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Biden: Not interested in No. 2

Biden said he's not interested in being No. 2.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told CNN Sunday he is confident a top three finish in Iowa will propel him to his party’s nomination, and said he would not consider being a vice presidential candidate if his White House bid is unsuccessful.

“I believe I’m going to do very well here,” the Delaware senator told Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley during an interview on the CNN Election Express. “If I end up one, two or three then I believe I’m the nominee because all of the sudden the national press will have to cover me.” (Related: Biden says Bill Clinton will overshadow VP position)

Biden pointed to his years of foreign policy experience and relationships at home and abroad that make him the most qualified of the crowded Democratic field.

“This is not a time for on-the-job training and no matter how smart the next president is, you know and I know that they don’t make really difficult decisions, no matter how bright their advisors are unless they feel it in their gut, these are good decent people these Democrats. It’s going to take them a while to get their footing, we don’t have a whole long time,” Biden said.

When pressed about who among his candidate colleagues might need to learn as they go, Biden replied: “I’m talking about the entire field … the exception might be Chris Dodd and I would’ve thought Bill Richardson but some of the things Bill’s saying these days, I find it confuses me whether or not he has a sense of a proportion about our place in the world.”

Biden also told Crowley he would not accept the position of vice president should it be offered to him.

“If I don’t win the nomination the likely nominee is going to be Hillary and I love Bill Clinton, but can you imagine being vice president? I think I could be a much greater contributor to the security of the country as chairman of the [Senate] Foreign Relations Committee,” he said. Clinton “is such a dominant and powerful and positive force that I think the question is if you’re going to stay in public life do you want to be a contributor ...I’m not looking for a ceremonial post,” he said.

- Candy Crowley and Sasha Johnson

Filed under: CNN Election Express • Joe Biden
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Not to worry, Joe, you haven't garnered enough support to warrant the #2 position.

    What I would REALLY like to hear is Bill Richardson publically state he will not accept the VP position!

    November 5, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. S Alexander Novato, CA

    Sorry to hear Bidens remark re VP. Hew would be a great VP.
    My guess and hope is that Gen Wes Clark will be Hillary's VP.

    November 5, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Stephen, concord,NH

    hahaha... I thought I heard that with Obama....Hillary stealing healthcare plan from Obama, Stealing slogan turn the page...Now bidden stealing what Obama said in S.C in a black packed church.......What is remaining?
    Well this is not new to bidden who doesn't even come up with his own speech but goes to steal a British Member of parliament speech till he got caught. How ashaming for a U.S lawmaker and Official. Now you have started domestic theft. Wow bidden,
    I thought Obama to you is nothing but, Wait a minute Obama support is now surging after the last Philadelphia debate.
    Well, I hope no one elects fake people like this and Hillary. They are all Bush cronies and bad example for our kids. I want a real deal and I think from last week I just feel Obama got it right!

    November 5, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Mike, Greenbelt, Md

    I must say, at first I found Obama appealing, then Hillary started sinking in...but after that last debate, I'm honestly starting to consider Bidden. He was right on with Pakistan, and he certainly put Rudy in his place. I guess part of me would like to see someone other than a white old man as president, but alas, there's something about him that seems like he might be the right person for the job.

    November 5, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Tim

    Hillary will be President everyone still in the race is fighting for VP

    November 5, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. AJ,Chicago IL

    Mike, Greenbelt,of Md posting: November 5, 2007 2:00 pm

    Biden is a likable guy on TV. He has a lot of good one-liners that the average american can understand and run with. From the past interviews I have seen with Biden in them, he would be my choice if Obama wasn't running. Biden has been in Washington politics for over 30 years and ran unsuccessfully for president in the past. I don't think Biden is going to be the Washington change agent that I'm looking for. Obama is on the Senate Foreign Relations committee as well and is aware of the Pakistani threat and commented on it about 4 weeks ago in while campaigning in SC. The only VP candidate for Hillary among the present Democratic presidential field is Bill Richardson because he stood up for her during the last debate. (What a suck up! He worked in the Clinton Administration during the 1990s). If you want the title of VP without any power, then you can support Hillary. But I'm supporting OBAMA. Experience is politics is not as great a factor as honesty, integrity, judgement and decisiveness. OBAMA in '08!

    November 5, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Davis, NJ

    HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT - BILL CLINTON WOULD OVERSHADOW THE VP...THATS FOR SURE. Whoever gets the VP slot would be totally useless.

    November 5, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Steve, Landing, NJ

    Gotta say, I'm not interested in seeing Biden as Hillary's VP. I'd be much more interested in a Biden/Obama, or even Obama/Biden ticket...

    November 5, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Matt Lansing, MI

    Joe is my choice. He's experienced, knowledgeable,and articulate. He's a leader. He's the 98th weathliest senator for goodness sake. He's not in politics for what politics can do for him, but because he wants to give his mind and talents to the country. His message can actually resonate in the 'Red States' and bring the country together, instead of Hillary squeaking by with a slim electoral win, Joe can actually win over voters in Florida, Ohio, Nevada, and South Carolina, etc. Give Joe a fair review. He can actually win! He's making Rudy look silly. Think electibility!

    November 5, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Karen,ny

    I'd like to see CLINTON/BIDEN. Biden would make a good vice president and we need someone to back up Hillary.

    November 5, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Face it, the ticket is going to be Obama with Edwards as VP. That would be an amazing team and their views are very closely related. Also, Edwards is young enough to still have the energy to run for President in eight years. Bidden, as much as i truly do like him, is going to be too old to run for President after eight years of Obama.

    People talk about Hillary Clinton as the front runner, but I've never even considered her. She has no meaningful experience other than being Bill Clinton's wife. I've been canvassing for Obama several times and knocked on more Democrat doors than I can count and I can safely, catagorically tell you that the vast majority of the Democratic party really is either unsure or down right hostile to Hillary, while to Obama they are really open and want to know more.

    Time is on Obama's side right now. He's getting his name out more and more and starting to point out Hillary's fatal flaws, like the fact she flip flops more than a fish out of water.

    Obama is supremely confident and a good politician, but most of all, he has the quality of a leader. He's shown good judgement on Iraq and passed more bipartisan bills than Hillary could ever dream of.

    He's the one to unite this nation and move us forward in a new direction. Hillary, Bidden, or the rest would not be assured of doing that, or even mustering the support to do it if they wanted to.

    I really do like Bidden, but it's going to be Edwards who gets the VP spot under Obama.

    November 5, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Colin742

    Any president would be wise to obtain Senator Biden's views on international matters. He will serve the nation best now and in the future in his present position. Biden is not as well known internationally as Hillary. She can do more to change the world's present dismal view of the US.
    As someone else said earlier, I hope for Vp she chooses General Clark, who showed interest in areas besides defence when he ran in 2004.While Hillary has been on the Armed Services committee for over 8 years, and she seem be resolute, there are some, particuarly men, will doubt her ability to handle defence matters. With General Clark's (1st in his class at WestPoint, Rhodes scholar) support, she will have no problem with defence matters.

    November 5, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Buggie, San Diego, CA

    Mr. Biden,

    If you are not strong enough to stand up to Bill Clinton, if you were chosen as VP, in a Hillary Clinton presidency, then why would anyone consider you for the presidency? Although some considered you to be a strong pick for the VP job under the next “President Clinton”, your low opinion of yourself and your fear of Bill Clinton makes you seem very meek and feeble. Taking the “all or nothing” approach to the Democratic nomination will ultimately leave you with nothing, as it is clear you do not have enough support to garner the nomination.

    If you do not want to be Vice President, that is fine, but to say that the VP will be nothing more than a ceremonial post under Mrs. Clinton is misguided thinking and is misleading to voters. There are plenty of strong individuals who would be effective in the VP position under Mrs. Clinton and I doubt they hold the job in such low regard.

    November 5, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. M.Lou WI

    Steve, Landing, NJ wrote: (snip) I'd be much more interested in a Biden/Obama, or even Obama/Biden ticket…
    Biden/Obama would be the best for the American people. Biden is not afraid to tell us the truth and has the experience. Obama has the vision and honesty-as VP he would get the necessary experience for a future presidential run.

    Anyone who would take a VP slot from Hillary better get used to twiddling their thumbs, playing with a
    Wii, and taking the blame for her "mess-ups".

    November 5, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  15. Rose Hann New London, CT

    The biased CNN failed to write the entire script. Biden eluded to Bill Clinton and his admiration for him. Translation, he couldn't be a vice president under those circumsatncs. He knows Bill Clinton is a force and a polarizing presece. Get it right, not convienient.

    November 5, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. alan St.LOUIS MO

    that sad if he loses the primary

    our next best hope that he is at least VICE PRESIDENT.

    November 6, 2007 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  17. Karen,ny

    Joe Biden you have my vote in 08 and I agree with your votes on the issues. I have some confidence in you that you will straighten out this immigration issue. I'm willing to give you a chance.

    November 6, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Linda, Scottsdale, AZ

    obviously stephen doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. First of all it's Biden, not Bidden. If you can't even spell his name right your credibility is already lost. Second of all, until he got caught? One time he forgot to quote Kinnock! He did EVERY single other time! And he admitted to forgetting to quote him. He didn't deny responsibility! What's "ashame" is that Stephen doesn't know his facts and doesn't know how to pick up a book and read! What's also ashame is that Barack Obama doesn't even have a quarter of the experience that Biden does. Probably not even 1/8 of the experience. Does Obama ever give a straight answer? He's a people pleaser who avoids answering questions directly.

    November 16, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |