The Washington Post

On ‘The View,’ Biden declares Hillary won’t affect his 2016 decision

Vice President Biden said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton's decision on a 2016 presidential campaign will not affect his own potential bid for the White House.

"Whether she runs or not will not affect my decision," Biden said during an appearance on ABC's "The View." He added that he has not made up his mind, but emphasized: "I have absolutely not said no. I'm as likely to run as to not run."

Biden was appearing on the midday talk show to pitch President Obama's health care plan to the show's large female audience, especially to mothers of 20-somethings who are eligible to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The administration is eager to get young, healthier people to enroll to help defray costs.

The vice president made a personal pitch to viewers, noting that he suffered two brain aneurysms in 1988. "I thought I was an invincible as a young man," he said. "My bills were $600,000. What if I had not had insurance?"

"The View" hosts asked Biden about health care -- "Why was it such a mess coming out?" Barbara Walters asked -- but they were clearly more interested in whether the vice president had his sights set on the White House.

Biden humbled-bragged that he's well-prepared: Obama had granted him so much authority in the White House, he joked, that he has stopped making suggestions lest he be given another major assignment. The president has given Biden "carte blanche to take any assignment I've been given and do it my way," Biden said. "That's because we're ideologically compatible and very close personal friends."

As for 2016, Biden insisted his focus in on 2014. "The honest-to-God truth is that our first objective is to win the House and keep the Senate, because if we do not do that our agenda was not worth very much the last two years."

When Walters pushed him to say definitively whether he was running, Biden promised that if Walters, who has announced her retirement later this year, would remain on the show, he'll make his official announcement on the program.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.



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