NPR
Politics

Biden Hints He's Leaving The Door Open To A 2020 Run

504502146_1501684550.jpg

Vice President Joe Biden seen here on the campaign trail for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Dayton, Ohio in October.
John Minchillo, AP
Vice President Joe Biden seen here on the campaign trail for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Dayton, Ohio in October.

Vice President Joe Biden teased Monday that he is leaving the door open to another presidential run in 2020.

"I'm going to run in 2020," Biden told a group of reporters on Capitol Hill.

"For what?" one of the reporters asked.

"For president," Biden responded, adding later, "What the hell man."

The Associated Press described the vice president with "only a slight smile on his face" as he was leaving the small group of reporters in hallways of the U.S. capitol.

Biden was asked again by a reporter if he was serious about running. Biden after all does have a history of saying things off the cuff.

"I'm not committing not to run," Biden responded. "I'm not committing to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening."

A Biden run is still highly unlikely. He just turned 74 last month and would be 78 in the weeks following the 2020 election. Arizona Sen. John McCain was reelected this year at 80, but running for the Senate as an incumbent is quite a different thing than running a national presidential campaign.

The vice president decided against a presidential run this cycle after a long decision-making process following the death of his son, Beau. Speaking from the Rose Garden in October 2015, Biden, flanked by his wife Jill and President Obama, said his "window" for a White House bid "has closed."

Support comes from

Biden's son Beau died earlier that year from Brain cancer. As NPR Politics reported, Biden said during that news conference:

"As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I've said all along what I've said time and again to others, that it may very well be that the process by the time we get through it closes the window," Biden said. "I've concluded it has closed."

While he himself did not run in 2016, he was a willing campaigner for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Biden did not hold back any punches warning against a Trump presidency. He at one point said during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania:

"I wish we were in high school so I could take him behind the gym."

Biden was on Capitol Hill to make a rare Senate appearance, where he presided over a vote that ended debate on legislation known as the Cures Act. The bill, which passed easily in the House last week, ensures funding for biomedical research for cancer research. The Senate named the cancer provisions of the bill after Biden's son.

Biden is scheduled to meet with House Democrats at a closed door meeting Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.