Joe Biden: 'Don't be surprised' if I run for president
(AP) - Former Vice President Joe Biden strongly signaled Tuesday that he could soon launch a campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
"I haven't made the final decision," he said, "but don't be surprised."
During an appearance at the University of Delaware, Biden still gave himself room to decide against a run. But his comments offered the most expansive insight into his thinking about his political future since he left the Obama administration in early 2017.
Biden spoke of his family deliberations along with considerations about how he'd fund a campaign and the new technology that would be required to wage a modern bid for the Democratic nomination.
He said the most critical question surrounding a potential candidacy -- the support of his family -- has been decided. Describing a recent meeting with his grandchildren, he said his family fully backs a campaign.
"There's a consensus that I should, that they -- they, the most important people in my life -- want me to run," Biden said. "I'm certain about where the family is."
With that issue resolved, Biden said he is now evaluating whether he can mount a high-powered campaign to win the nomination and defeat President Donald Trump. "I don't want this to be a fool's errand."
"I want to make sure that if we do this, and we're very close to getting to a decision, that I am fully prepared to do it," he said.
For instance, he noted, when he ran as Barack Obama's running mate in 2008, digital political organizing and fundraising was just taking off, and Twitter was in its infancy. "Between then and now the whole issue of social media and use of social media has fundamentally changed," he said.
Biden and his small circle of advisers have been getting briefings from digital campaign consultants.
He gave no firm timeline for an announcement. Last year, he said he planned to make a decision in January, but he had spoken little of presidential politics until Tuesday, instead focusing on foreign policy issues.
Meanwhile, Biden said he wants to be able to raise the money required to compete and win, while also adhering to personal conditions.
"I will not be part of a super PAC," Biden said, though super PACs, which accept unlimited contributions, are done without coordination with the candidate.
Finally, Biden said his team is putting together a campaign organizational plan that "reflects who we are as a country, made up of women and men and African-Americans, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, to reflect who I am."
Despite the hints suggesting he is leaning toward a campaign, Biden offered clear caveats. The 76-year-old described a primary campaign as very difficult, never mind a potential general election versus Trump, which he said would be "very, very, very difficult."