Associated Press

Biden: ‘I'm Not Closing the Door' on Possible 2020 Run for President

"If the Lord almighty came down, sat in the middle of the table and said, 'Joe, the nomination is yours but you have to take it now,' I would say no"

Former Vice President Joe Biden is leaving the door open to a run for president in 2020, but has "honest to God" yet to make up his mind.

Biden sat down for an interview on the "Today" show Monday in one of his first on-camera interviews since leaving office in January, reflecting on the 2016 presidential election and his prospects in the next one.

The former U.S. senator from Delaware said Monday he was joking when he asked a crowd at a pub the day before what they think about a possible third run for president.

"I'm not closing the door," Biden said. "Look, I've been around too long. I mean, I'm a great respecter of fate. But who knows what the situation's going to be a year and a half from now?"

Biden, 74, considered a run for the Oval Office in 2016, but decided against it, later citing the trauma of his son Beau's death to cancer in May 2015 for keeping him from the race. The painful subject forms the story of his new memoir, 'Promise Me, Dad,' set for release this week. Biden is launching a month-long tour to promote the book's publication.

He went on to campaign heavily for Hillary Clinton, whom he said "would have been a first-rate president" but lost because her campaign never made clear what she would have done to help the middle class.

Right now, Biden said he wants to remain focused on Beau.

"If the Lord almighty came down, sat in the middle of the table and said, 'Joe, the nomination is yours but you have to take it now,' I would say no," Biden said. "We're working through a whole lot, we're getting there and I want to focus on my boy."

Biden has also indicated he's looking for fresh blood to lead the Democratic Party back to the White House.

"I've done it a long time," said Biden, who previously ran for president in 1988 and 2008, "and I'm just not sure it's the appropriate thing for me to do."

That comment came in an interview with Snapchat's 'Good Luck America' set to be released Tuesday morning. The Associated Press was provided with an exclusive preview of the interview.

Biden suggested that if "no one steps up," he'd be open to giving it another try. "I'm not doing anything to run," he said. "I'm not taking names, I'm not raising money, I'm not talking to anybody, but something's got to happen."

Biden has launched a handful of outside political and policy organizations since leaving the Obama administration, including the Biden Foundation, formed to advocate for his domestic priorities.

The roster of Democrats considering a White House run has swelled well into the double-digits, with potential candidates emboldened by President Donald Trump's historically low poll numbers. Biden's become a vocal critic of Trump's administration in public appearances in recent months, though on Monday he made a point of not criticizing the president while he's abroad over a controversial conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden was interviewed alongside Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, at the University of Delaware last month.

"We're both hoping that both our parties generate some real energetic people who have the depth and the capacity to do it," Biden said of the pair, adding, "We gotta turn this ship around."

Kasich, who has been an outspoken opponent of Trump's since he challenged him for the Republican nomination in 2016, declined to address his own 2020 plans. "You hold the pen and the Lord will write the sentence," he said.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey released Sunday, Biden said he regrets not being in the White House, but not his decision to stay on the sidelines last year. "I don't regret the decision I made because it's the right decision for my family," he said.

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