Former Vice President Joe Biden surprised many on Thursday with remarkably candid comments on former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign, including that he “never thought” Clinton was a great candidate.
Biden was asked when he became convinced that Clinton was the right person to run against then-candidate Donald Trump in the general election, according to CNN.
But Biden didn’t point to any specific moment. In fact, Biden suggested that he may have preferred another candidate instead of Clinton.
“I never thought she was a great candidate,” Biden said. “I thought I was a great candidate.”
Biden announced in October 2015 from the White House Rose Garden that he would not run for president. The announcement came just months after Biden’s son, Beau, died from brain cancer at the age of 35.
Biden vowed during the same speech not to stay quiet during the 2016 election. The vice president played an active role in campaigning for Clinton, as did former President Barack Obama. The Obama administration viewed a potential Clinton administration as one that would carry on the the legacy of the Obama years.
In spite of his criticisms of Clinton as a candidate, Biden stood by Clinton’s competence, remarking that “Hillary would have been a really good president.”
In October 2016, just days before the general election, Biden said during an interview that he thought he could have defeated Clinton in the Democratic primary.
“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,” Biden said.
As for 2020, Biden said he isn’t yet willing to rule anything out.
“I may very well do it,” Biden said of running for president in 2020, the Hill reported.
“At this point, no one in my family or I have made the judgment to run,” the former vice president said.
Biden will turn 77 in 2020. Should he run and be elected president, he would be the oldest person ever elected commander in chief.