The White House dismissed the notion that the Obama campaign every considered dropping Vice President Joe Biden from the 2012 reelection ticket, as reported in a recent book.
US Vice President Joe Biden (R) and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attend a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, September 30, 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
“Pollsters as part of campaigns test a lot of things,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during the press briefing Friday. “What I can tell you without a doubt is that the president never considered that and had anyone brought that idea to him, he would have laughed it out of the room.”
The book, “Double Down: Game Change 2012” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann said the Obama campaign conducted polling to decide whether to replace Biden with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Joe Biden has been an asset to this president in two campaigns and throughout the five years of this administration,” Carney said, citing the stimulus act and negotiations with Congress Biden participated in. “Joe Biden has been an excellent partner in the president's view. And then as a candidate, if you look at the role he played in 2012 and you look at the job he did in his debate I think there is little doubt that he was an enormous asset to the entire cause. And I think that's how the president feels.”
Carney also said Obama supported Clinton as secretary of state, having asserted she was never seriously considered for vice president.
“I think you all know that he believes that Hillary Clinton did a magnificent job as secretary of state,” Carney said. “He believes he made the right choice in a runningmate, the right choice in a secretary of state and when it comes to 2012, I think the fact that the president is the first person to win more than 50 percent of the vote consecutively since Ronald Reagan tells you a lot about how effective that ticket was.”
Of the previous two-term presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both carried less than 51 percent of the vote in their reeelection victories.
A reporter asked if Obama knew the campaign was testing numbers on Biden as a vice presidential candidate.
“I'm not aware that he was aware of it,” Carney said. “I know for a fact that the suggestion people periodically floated in the press that this was something under consideration was not something he took seriously, ever.”