President Barack Obama would have refused to take Vice President Joe Biden off the Democratic ticket in 2012, he told NBC’s Chuck Todd Thursday, calling Biden “one of the best vice presidents in our history” and saying his selection of the Delaware senator as his running mate was “one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.”
In an exclusive interview, Obama dismissed a report that his campaign poll-tested dumping Biden in favor of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as would-be leakers trying to “seem important.” But he said he would have flatly rejected the suggestion of removing Biden from his team.
“If they had asked me, I would have said there is no way that I am not running again with Joe Biden,” he said.
The reported consideration of a ticket swap was revealed by authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in a new book, Double Down: Game Change 2012.
Calling his second-in-command “a personal friend” and “one of my most important advisors on domestic and foreign policy,” Obama said that he and Biden have since spoken since the book's release and that the vice president knows “I would not be here if it weren’t for the support that I have had from Joe Biden.”
“I like him,” Obama added. “When my back’s up against the wall, he has my back.”
First published November 7 2013, 3:34 PM