Vice President Joe Biden said in a recent interview that he believed he could have beat former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination had he pursued it.
Biden was asked in an interview with CNN Saturday if news that the FBI was re-opening their criminal probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state made him second-guess his decision last year not to run.
But according to the vice president, the short answer is “no.” The only thing that kept him from running, Biden said, was the recent death of his son, Beau.
“Michael, the only reason I didn’t run, had nothing to do with it,” Biden said. “I thought I could beat Hillary. I thought I could beat anybody that ran. No one should run for president unless they think they can do that. I didn’t run for one simple, overarching reason. My son was dying, and he died. That’s the total reason.”
“You don’t make a decision based on the other person,” the vice president continued. “I thought at the time the issues the country’s facing were right in my wheelhouse. I didn’t not run because Hillary was running. I didn’t run because my son’s not here. Period.”
Biden added that he has “great respect” for Clinton.
Beau Biden died suddenly of brain cancer last May. Vice President Biden mulled over the decision to run for president for months, but ultimately decided not to run following his son’s death, which grieved him greatly.
Biden made his decision official during a press conference in the Rose Garden last October with President Barack Obama by his side.
Watch Biden’s comments below: