Washington: Hillary Clinton has asserted that she would continue to run for president, even if US Vice President Joe Biden enters the race, who she said should be given the space and opportunity to take a decision on his presidential ambition.
“I’m going to be running for president regardless,” Clinton told reporters yesterday in the key battleground state of Iowa, where she responded to questions on Biden’s potential presidential run, which is being talked about in the media circle for the past few weeks.
Clinton, who is considered to be close family friends of the Biden’s, however, noted that the Vice President should be given the space and opportunity to take a decision on his presidential ambition. At the same time she insisted that there is no going back for her.
“Vice President Biden is a friend of mine. He and I were colleagues in the Senate, I worked with him as a First Lady, I worked with him obviously in President Barack Obama’s first term, and I have a great deal of admiration and affection,” she said.
“I think he has to make what is a very difficult decision for himself and his family. He should have the space and opportunity to decide what he wants to do,” Clinton told reporters in a brief media interaction. Responding to questions, Clinton said there has been no back channel talks between her and the Vice President on this issue. “I haven’t asked for that,” she said.
“I just want the vice president to do what is right for him and his family. I don’t think it is useful to be behind the scenes, asking this or saying that. I’ve done none of that. I just want him to reach whatever the right decision is,” Clinton said.
Meanwhile, the White House refrained from giving any indication on Biden’s decision or what position would be taken by US President Barack Obama, in case both Biden and Clinton are in the race.
“The Vice President has not indicated whether or not he’s going to run, so it’s unclear if that’s a question that anybody will have to answer, let alone the President,” White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters. “The Vice President himself has acknowledged that it’s a possibility.
The President — as I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t rule out a potential endorsement in the Democratic primary at some point, regardless of what the field looks like. But I am confident that the President will do two things. One is he will vote in the Illinois Democratic Primary, and that he will strongly support whatever Democratic candidate emerges from the primary process,” he said.
Earnest said Obama has described selecting Vice President Biden as his running mate as the smartest political decision that he’s made in his career in public service.
“I think you can reasonably conclude — one of the reasons that you choose a running mate is because you can — that you would expect them to step in in an emergency situation to run the country.
“And I think that should give you a good indication of his view of Vice President Biden’s aptitude for the job of president of the United States,” he said.