Joe Biden will make a decision on whether or not to run for president by the end of the summer, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week.
“What the vice president has said publicly is that a possible campaign for the presidency is something that he’s considering, and he anticipated that he would make a decision by the end of this summer,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday, reported Politico.
“And so obviously we’re in the first week of August and we’re getting closer to the end of the summer, but we’re not there yet.”
Biden was asked directly by Wall Street Journal reporter Carol Lee on Tuesday whether he will be running for president, to which he cracked, “Only if you’re my running mate.”
Biden was standing near the doors as President Barack Obama described his meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon when he was asked the question, reported CNN.
Biden slipped out of the room before Obama finished speaking.
The words from Earnest and Biden come as the New York Times reports that Biden will later this month “escape for a family retreat to mourn his late son, Beau, but also to mull, as his dying son urged him to do, a campaign for president.”
But friends are reportedly worried that a run could damage the legacy he’s built as vice president, and others are unsure whether he could build enough support if he jumped into the race after others–like Hillary Clinton–have already marshaled support.
“I understand completely why he would consider running,” said David Axelrod, a former Obama advisor, pointing to Mr. Biden’s 36 years in the Senate and two terms at Mr. Obama’s side. “On the other side is the reality of running for president. The fund-raising, 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. Add all that up, and it is a counterweight to why he should run.”
It was noted that Biden’s press secretary sent a statement around this week to reporters saying the VP is focused on his family, but had removed a description she sent around several weeks ago that any presidential speculation was “premature and inappropriate.”
If Biden did jump into the race, then he would get some support from Obama.
“The president’s approach to this all along has been to give the vice president his own space to make his own decision,” said a person familiar with Obama’s thinking. “Obviously, if the vice president were to seek the president’s counsel, they’d have a candid conversation about it, but that conversation would be private.”