After testing the waters on a potential presidential bid, Vice President Joe Biden may now be leaning towards staying out of the 2016 race.
Biden says he is unsure if he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination, saying his decision will hinge on whether he and his family have the “emotional energy to run.”
“Unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate,” Biden said Thursday, responding to a question following a foreign policy address at an Atlanta synagogue.
Biden offered his most extensive public remarks regarding his deliberations about entering a Democratic primary race that includes front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and others. His entry would shake up the campaign at a time when some voters would like to see more options.
Clinton has locked up much of the Democratic establishment and few expected Biden to enter the race. But the former secretary of state’s recent slide in primary polls and questions surrounding her use of a private email account and server while at the State Department have prompted the vice president to explore a campaign to succeed his running mate, President Barack Obama.
“Everybody talks about a lot of other factors, other people in the race, whether I can raise the money, whether I can put together an organization. That’s not the factor,” Biden said. “The factor is, ‘Can I do it? Can my family undertake what is an arduous commitment?’ That we would be proud to undertake in ordinary circumstances and the honest to God answer is, I just don’t know.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article