President Obama on Friday declined to weigh in on whether Vice President Joe Biden should jump into the 2016 race, remarking that he’s under no obligation to share his views on the upcoming election.
“I will have a vote like everybody else as a citizen, and that ballot is private,” Mr. Obama said from the White House during a press conference with President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea. “I don’t have to share my views about that right now because I think it’s important for the American people to make up their own decisions.”
Pressure is mounting for Biden to make a decisionas to whether or not he’ll launch his own presidential campaign, but Mr. Obama simply said, “I think that the vice president, like every other candidate, makes their own decisions about these issues, and they will have to figure out whether it makes sense for them.”
Mr. Obama acknowledged he didn’t watch the entirety of the first Democratic presidential primary debate earlier this week: “The Democratic debate was taking place at the same time as some ball games, so there was a little bit of clicking back and forth,” he said.
The president said that the five candidates who participated in the debate are “all some very fine people.”
“They share a belief in an economy that is working for everybody and not just a few,” he said. “They share a belief that America has to project strength around the world by maintaining the finest military but also by making sure that we have a strong economy back home. That we’re employing diplomacy and working with nations wherever possible to solve big problems like climate change.”
Mr. Obama declined to comment on the fact that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even though she served as Mr. Obama’s secretary of state while it was under negotiation.
“During the course of what will be a long campaign, I probably won’t be commenting on every single utterance or decisions that the candiates make,” he said. “It is natural and proper for candidates to run on their own vision and their own platform.”