Vice President Joe Biden joked earlier this week at a United Auto Workers event that the “one overwhelming reason” not to run for president in 2016 is his Corvette.
Asked again in a CNN interview that aired Friday if he could name a real reason he shouldn’t make a bid for the Oval Office, the vice president sounded an awful lot like a candidate.
“I can’t. There may be reasons why I don’t run, but there’s no obvious reason, for me, why I think I should not run,” Biden told CNN's Kate Bolduan, adding that he will likely make a decision next summer.
“For me, the decision to run or not run is going to be determined by me as to 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 interest for the United States,” he said. “Where we’re not only known for the power of our military, but the power of our example.”
He went on: “I think the future for this country—I know people think I’m too optimistic—but it’s incredible. There’s so much just within our grasp. It 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 will, and if I don’t, I won’t.”
Biden has been discussing his 2016 prospects a lot in recent weeks.
Late last month, the vice president danced around questions on NBC, saying that he was confident he would be a good president, but he still wasn’t sure whether he would run for office.
Biden clearly has the name recognition to launch a campaign. But polls have showed the Democratic Party overwhelmingly supports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
But before 2016, Democrats have to get through this year's midterm elections.
“The prospects of Democrats running for Congress, incumbents in the Senate, I think we are in the best shape we can be,” Biden said. “On every major issue, the public agrees between 51 and 70% with the position taken by the president of the United States and the Democratic Party.”
Biden plans to campaign on behalf of Democrats, and he pushed back against criticism that the president has become a liability for Democrats in tough elections.
“There's some places where I can go in and the president can't. There are some places where it makes no sense for me to go in or for the president to go in,” he said, but added that he's still “truly optimistic about this year’s races.”