Joe Biden, who was President Obamas vice president for eight years, said Obama used to often ask him during his second term what would motivate him to run for president.
“Im really hoping some other folks step up,” Biden demurred. “I think we have some really good people.” When Sharpton pressed it, though, he clarified that he was not ruling anything out, and would decide by the end of 2018.
After the longtime senator and VP had to abandon a potential run against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race because of the fatal illness of his son, Beau, many Democrats wondered what might have been had Biden entered the ring. He told Sharpton that attending to his extended familys ongoing recovery from Beau Bidens death would be the main obstacle to him running.
“Ive got to be able to look in the mirror,” Biden explained. “If I walk away Ive got to know that Im not walking away because Im afraid or Im worried about losing or I just dont want to take on the responsibility. … For me, its selfish but its about putting my family back together.”
Recent polls that ranked him at the top of the heap among projected candidates “dont mean a thing if youre not in the ring,” Biden said. Asked by Sharpton if a faceoff with Donald Trump — and the two have already resorted to physical threats against each other — would be a “battle for the soul of America,” Biden said only, “We are fundamentally different.”