Biden says he'll run for White House 'if he can find the energy'
Published 05/09/2015 | 02:30
US vice-president Joe Biden said yesterday he could still mount a White House bid in 2016 if he can find the "emotional energy".
In his first extensive public comments about a possible run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mr Biden said: "If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it."
"I can't look you straight in the eye now and say I know I can do it."
Mr Biden (72), who lost his son Beau to cancer earlier this year, said his family's response would play a major part in his decision on whether to run.
"The most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run. The factor is, can I do it? The honest to God answer is I just don't know."
He has been meeting with advisers for weeks to determine whether he will challenge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has seen her favourability ratings plummet over her use of a private email server while working as the nation's top diplomat.
Mr Biden was in Atlanta on Thursday night to deliver a foreign policy lecture after concluding a two-day visit to the political battleground state of Florida, where he avoided any discussion of a possible White House run. Mr Biden said he would not be swayed by questions about whether he could raise enough money or mount an effective organisation after getting a late start.
The only factor, he said, was his and his family's commitment. "Can my family undertake what is an arduous commitment?" he said.
"Unless I can go to my party and the American people and say I am able to devote my whole heart and soul to this endeavour, it would not be appropriate."
Mr Biden has stepped up his public schedule, and will travel to Pittsburgh on Monday for Labour Day celebrations and New York later in the week to appear on Stephen Colbert's talk show. But he said he did not know when he would make a decision. "There is no way to put a timetable on it," he said.
Separately yesterday, Donald Trump signed a pledge not to run as an independent candidate if he fails to win the Republican Party's nomination for US president in 2016.
Mr Trump also agreed to support the eventual Republican nominee should it not be him. His announcement was a relief for the Republic Party which would see its support splintered if Mr Trump ever launched an independent run for the White House.
In a televised debate last month the property mogul had caused uproar as he refused to make such a commitment, saying: "I will not make the pledge at this time."
He was the only one of the 10 candidates on the debate stage who declined to do so.
Mr Trump defended that stance by saying the party had not treated him fairly and shown him respect.
Following more than a month of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), met with the reality TV star-turned politician at Trump Tower in New York. Mr Trump then confirmed that he had signed the pledge, and publicly showed the piece of paper.
He said: "The chairman has just left. The RNC has treated me with great respect recently. I just wanted fairness from the Republican Party.
"We are leading in every single poll and the best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever the Democrats put up. For that reason I have signed the pledge. I am pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands. We will go out and fight hard and we will win, and most importantly we will make our country great again." (© Daily Telegraph London)