Biden made the suggestion to reporters less than four weeks after the 2016 election ended.
“I am going to run in 2020, so uh,” Biden told reporters on Capitol Hill when asked about his political future. The reporter who asked the question most likely meant for the Senate, but Biden appeared to take the dialogue to a whole different level.
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) December 6, 2016
Asked “for what” exactly he was going to run for, he replied, “for president, and also you know what, what the hell man.”
Biden intrigued reporters with his statement, but seemed to nearly walk it back only seconds later.
The 74-year-old was asked to clarify if he was kidding about running. He held a short pause and answered, “I am not committed to anything.”
“I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening,” he added.
Also, best part of this exchange: “(pause for about 4 seconds)”
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) December 5, 2016
Biden, who would be 78 come 2020, aimed for the White House long ago, but fell short of winning his party’s nomination. He ran in 1988 and again in 2008, when he lost to then-Senator Barack Obama.
There were speculations that Biden would run in 2016, along with Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), but the VP told reporters in October 2015 that he was not trying to pursue the Oval Office for a third time.
At the time, he said that his family was still grieving the death of his son Beau, who passed away from brain cancer in May.
“I didn’t run for one simple overarching reason. My son was dying and he died,” Biden told CNN. “I didn’t not run because Hillary’s running. I didn’t run because my son’s not here.”
— Vice President Biden (@VP) December 6, 2016
Since then, Biden has been involved in a fight against cancer. The vice president presided over the Senate on the 21st Century Cures Act, which would increase funding for health research. A portion of the bill allocates $1.8 billion toward Biden’s “cancer moonshot” initiative, which he has been supporting since Beau died of brain cancer.
That part of the bill was renamed after Beau Biden during an emotional session.