Outgoing US Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday refused to rule out a presidential bid in 2020 and said the failure to include the “real inequalities” existing for the working class as the “central part” of the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign led to her stunning defeat. “Four years is a lifetime in American politics,” Biden told CNN in an interview.
“And I think that nominees are determined by their parties based mostly on what skill set is most needed at that time. Who knows where we’re going to be two years from now when people really start looking seriously at what they are going to do,” he said.
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Biden’s comments came a week after he made contradictory comments. On Monday, he told reporters he was going to run for presidency in 2020, only to dismiss the remarks on Wednesday and insist “I have no intention of running.”
In the interview, the 74-year-old again did not rule out a bid to White House but acknowledged age could be a factor.
“Look, age could be very much an issue, and it may not be. It depends on the state of my health and the health of whomever is running,” he said.
Biden also said that Democrats didn’t show enough respect to working class voters in last month’s presidential election.
“You know, globalisation has not been an unalloyed asset to everybody. Some people have been left behind. There’s ways to deal with that. But we never got a chance to speak to it in this election. And I think we paid a price for it,” he said.
In the past two years, President Barack Obama’s administration had focused on addressing inequalities among people, but was not able to address their problems, he said.
“In the last two years there has been a shift in a focus, now that we got the car out of the ditch and on the road and running, on really focusing on the real inequities that exist and still exist for working-class, middle-class people who are left behind. What happened was, that wasn’t the central part of the campaign moving forward, in my view,” he said.
“And these are people who had good, decent jobs. My dad used to have an expression, for real. He would say, “Remember, Joe, a job is a lot more than about a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about your respect,” he said.
“As much as we come back, there’s still a segment of people who had good, decent jobs five, 10, 12 years ago, and they are having trouble looking their kids in the eye and saying, honey, it’s going to be OK, I feel certain about where we are now,” Biden said.