Former labor secretary and liberal economist Robert Reich suggested Thursday night that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) -- or even he -- could run for president in 2016.

Asked during a conference call with the liberal group Democracy for America about the prospect, Reich said that it was more important that someone was speaking to issues like income inequality. But he also suggested that, if nobody does it, Warren or he could run.

"I think, though, if we don't get a candidate or a set of candidates in 2016 who are taking this issue with the seriousness it needs to be taken, I think that there will be a lot of people -- Elizabeth Warren, others, maybe even me -- who will toss our hats in the ring, because it has to be addressed," Reich said.

Warren also appeared on the call via a recorded message. She has said that she isn't running for president in 2016, but there has been some chatter about the possibility of a liberal alternative to the leading Democratic candidates, including Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Warren's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reich also added that he's "not really" looking to run -- for president or even Congress -- and joked about the proposition, citing a (non-existent) clause in the Constitution that presidents must be at least five feet tall. (Reich is just under that.)

He also joked about being asked if both he and Warren would run.

"We're definitely not going to run together for president, because you can't have two presidents," Reich said. "Actually, maybe you could. I haven't looked at the Constitution recently."

Reich served as labor secretary under Bill Clinton. He also worked in the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. He is a former Harvard University professor who now teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.