Joe Biden Reveals He Wavered Until The Very End On Whether To Run For President

"I just decided, I don't think we can run the kind of campaign we have to run to be able to win."

26/10/2015 12:23 PM AEDT | Updated 27/10/2015 1:16 AM AEDT

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden emphasized that family, not politics, loomed large in his decision not to pursue a third presidential run.

In an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday, he noted that the grief over the death of his son Beau earlier this year continues to affect him and his family. 

"It doesn't follow schedules of primaries and caucuses and contributors and the like. Everybody grieves at a different pace," he said. "What I struggled with was whether or not I could emotionally handle this in a way that when I thought of Beau, it wasn't a problem."

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Biden suggested that he continually wavered on whether or not to run, claiming that at certain instances, he felt emotionally ready for a presidential campaign in 2016.

"At one point, late summer, I thought, 'Well, you know, I think we can do this.' And I'll never forget my little granddaughter. We're down by the swimming pool. Mom says, 'Time for dinner everybody.' And everybody goes up, and she's lying between my legs with her head on my chest and turns around and puts her arms around me and starts sobbing and says, 'Pop, I see Daddy all the time. I see Daddy all the time. Pop, you smell like Daddy. You're not gonna leave me, are you, Pop?" 


"When that happens, you go, 'I don't know, man.' You can't run for president unless you throw your entire being into it."

Sunday's interview was Biden's first since announcing on Wednesday that he would not jump into the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, concluding that there was not enough time to mount a formidable campaign.

"I just decided, I don't think we can run the kind of campaign we have to run to be able to win," he recalled on Sunday.

Biden also denied reports that in his last days, Beau had urged his father to run, calling the notion "Hollywood-esque."

"Nothing like that ever, ever happened," he said.


Suggesting that politics only played a secondary role in his decision, Biden laughed off rumors that he harbors tensions toward Hillary Clinton, denying he ever doubted her viability as the Democratic presidential front-runner.

"These must be the same guys who knew I was going to run!" he joked, referring to speculation that he would run. "That's never been the case. Go back and find anybody who says for the four years we worked together, Hillary and I weren't friends... Hillary and I get along together. The only reason to run is because I still think I could do a better job than anybody else could do. That's the reason to run. I wouldn't run against Hillary."

He insisted that he was not jabbing Clinton when he commented earlier this week that "we should look at Republicans as our enemies." Clinton had called the GOP "enemies" during the last Democratic debate. 

"That was a reference to Washington," he clarified.

In contemplating his legacy, Biden declared that he will not run again for elected office. Instead, he intends to focus on solidifying the Obama administration's achievements as he heads into the last year of his vice presidency, a promise he also asserted in his Rose Garden address.

"I think I'm still moving up. And we've got lots to do."


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