Vice-President Joe Biden is reportedly considering a run for president something his dying son, Beau, urged him to do before his death. But Biden also briefly considered stepping down as vice president in the wake of Beau’s death, the New York Times reports: In a sign of the conflicting pressures surrounding Mr. Biden, the vice president has told people that the terminal brain cancer of Beau Biden, who died in May, had caused him to consider resigning the vice presidency to take care of his grieving family, though those aware of the vice president’s thinking say that idea never became too serious.
According to the Times, the 72-year-old will likely explore the idea of challenging Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination during a family retreat later this month. David Axelrod, President Obama’s former adviser, says he understands why Biden would consider running for president, but believes “the reality” is there are too many reasons not to run. “The fundraising, the demands of campaigning and organizing, the constant and irritating exposure, and the prospect of running against a well-fortified opponent who has a huge head start,” Axelrod told the paper.
“Add all that up, and it is a counterweight to why he should run.” Earlier this week, Donald Trump, who currently has a double-digit lead in the race for the 2016 Republican nomination, said Biden would be a tougher opponent than Clinton. “I actually think Hillary will be easy if it’s her,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “But I’m not so sure it’s going to be her.” Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus agrees.
“Certainly Biden is far more likable,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday. “I think he’s probably tougher. Hillary Clinton has a lot of problems. I think she is an opponent that’s easy to define.” The Democratic National Committee says it would welcome Biden to the race.
“There will always be room for the sitting vice president if he chose to run for president,” DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “But let’s remember and take one step back that Vice President Biden has just been through the most heart-wrenching tragedy that a parent could ever experience.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sits second behind Clinton and 4 points ahead of Biden in a recent Quinnipiac poll, says he is “very fond” of Biden but thinks the American people “want to go beyond conventional establishment politics.” “Government has to respond to the needs of the middle class, not the billionaires,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I think that’s what’s going on in this country and I’m not sure that conventional politics will do it anymore.”