Joe Biden voiced regret that he chose not to run for president in 2016, telling a crowd at Colgate University in Hamilton New York on Friday night that he could have won against Donald Trump.
“I had planned on running for president and although it would have been a very difficult primary, I think I could have won,” the former vice president said. “I don’t know, maybe not. But I thought I could have won.”
“I had a lot of data and I was fairly confident that if I were the Democratic Party’s nominee, I had a better than even chance of being president,” he continued.
Biden was going to run but changed his mind after his son Beau died in May 2015 at age 46 after a long battle with brain cancer. At Friday night’s speech at CU, he looked at his personal choice through different eyes.
“But do I regret not being president? Yes. I was the best qualified,” he said, going on to clarify that emotionally, because of his family’s loss, he couldn’t run in good conscience.
Last year, he told “Good Morning America,” “No one should ever seek the presidency unless they’re able to devote their whole heart and soul and passion into just doing that. And, Beau was my soul. I just wasn’t ready to be able to do that. But, so, my one regret is my Beau’s not here. I don’t have any other regrets.”
Earlier this year, Biden jokingly mentioned that he was going to run for president in 2020. Shortly thereafter, he set the record straight, telling Stephen Colbert, “I don’t plan on running again, but to say you know what’s going to happen in four years is just not rational,” adding the caveat that he isn’t shutting the door on the possibility for good.
“I can’t see the circumstance in which I’d run, but what I’ve learned a long, long time ago is to never say never.”