Vice President Joe Biden thinks he could have beaten Hillary Clinton if he had pursued the 2016 Democratic nomination for president.
The FBI said Friday it was reopening its probe into Clinton’s private email server use after the discovery of pertinent emails in a separate investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting with a 15-year-old girl.
CNN host Michael Smerconish asked Biden in an interview airing Saturday if that news made him ever second-guess his decision to not run for president.
“Michael, the only reason I didn’t run, had nothing to do with it,” he said. “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’s son Beau died in 2015 of brain cancer, and the vice president said in the months afterward that his grief affected his decision to try and succeed President Obama. He publicly mulled over the decision before ultimately deciding against running, making the announcement in the Rose Garden with Obama at his side.
Biden added he had “great respect” for Clinton.
“You don’t make a decision based on the other person,” he said. “I thought at the time the issues the country’s facing were right in my wheelhouse. I didn’t run because Hillary was running. I didn’t run because my son’s not here. Period.”