As Joe Biden steps up campaigning for Democrats across the country ahead of the midterm elections, every statement is being dissected for potential clues about whether he will launch a run for president in 2020. But it was his wife may have offered the biggest hint Friday.
Asked by NBC’s Craig Melvin what she would say if her husband came to her in the coming months and said he wanted to be president, Jill Biden offered this: "I'd say, ‘Joe, you would make a great president. But let’s think about it.'"
Both Bidens, in an interview on "Today" to discuss Friday’s Biden Cancer Summit, reflected on how their son’s death of brain cancer influenced the former vice president’s decision not to run in 2016, and may still be a factor in 2020.
"I regret not being president. But it was the right decision," Joe Biden said, a sentiment his wife immediately echoed.
"No man or woman should go out and say I’m running for president unless they can look you in the eye and say you have my whole heart, my whole soul and all my emotion," he said. "Beau has left a gigantic hole in our hearts, for our whole family."
Joe Biden said that he "desperately want[ed] to change the landscape" in the country now, but that "there’s more than one way to do it."
"There’s a lot of really talented people we have out there: Kamala Harris, you got Cory Booker, you’ve got the former [governor] of Massachusetts. You’ve got a lot of talented people," he said. "We have to stop this degradation of the system that’s going on. That’s why I’m campaigning all over the country."
Biden predicted Democrats would not only win back the House, but also the U.S. Senate this year. This month he has campaigned for candidates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan. Next week he’s expected to travel to South Carolina – one of the first four states in the presidential nominating process and a potentially significant one for him.
"If there were a primary here next week in South Carolina, and Joe Biden were in the primary, he would win it — going away," Rep. James Clyburn, the longtime Democratic congressman from South Carolina, told NBC in June.