Biden: Decision on 2016 may not come in time

Sep 21, 2015 11:53 AM by CBS News

Vice President Joe Biden said that he may not decide whether or not to run for president until it's too late to jump into the 2016 race.

"I just have to be comfortable that this will be good for the family," he said in an interview with America magazine ahead of Pope Francis' visit. "It's not quite there yet, and it might not get there in time to make it feasible to be able to run and succeed, because there are certain windows that will close. But if that's it, that's it. But it's not like I can rush it."

"It's not like it either happens or it doesn't happen. I know that's not satisfying to anybody. But people who've been there - I know they understand," he added.

He told America Magazine that he must be certain that he can give the presidency "all my passion, all my energy, and...not be distracted" if he decides to run, a sentiment Biden has expressed before.

Biden also reflected on his Catholic faith and looked forward to experiencing the pope's joint address to Congress Thursday with fellow Catholic politican, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The two normally sit side by side during President Obama's joint addresses, when they find few areas of agreement.

"We've now done seven State of the Union addresses and we joke with one another, and John will say 'don't stand on everything," Biden said. "But John's a good guy and I think we'll both be sitting there with a great deal of pride." The pope's speech to the Senate and the House will mark the first time any pope has addressed a joint session of Congress.

Biden talked about his views on abortion, an issue where his party is at odds with the Catholic Church.

"It has been hard in one sense, because I'm prepared to accept de fide doctrine on a whole range of issues as a Catholic," he said. "I'm prepared to accept as a matter of faith, my wife and I, my family, [the Church's position on] the issue of abortion."

But, he added, "What I'm not prepared to do is impose a...precise view that is born out of my faith on other people who are equally God-fearing, equally as committed to life, equally as committed to the sanctity of life."

And this was a point he brought up in a meeting with the last pope, Benedict, in what he called a "wonderful meeting." "He wasn't judgmental...I came away enlivened from the discussion," Biden said.

Asked whether there is a place for pro-life Democrats within the party, the vice president said, "Absolutely. Absolutely, positively. And that's been my position as long as I've been engaged."


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