WASHINGTON More Democrats have come out saying they would welcome Vice President Joe Biden in the 2016 presidential race, especially after the resurfacing of a long-running row over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while serving as secretary of state.
“All I can say is, if I were Hillary, I would say [to Biden], ‘Don’t jump in.’ If I were Joe Biden, I’d probably give it very serious consideration,” Brown told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday.
“I have a great deal of respect for Vice-President Biden,” former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“He’s a very, very good and decent man, it would be nice to have at least one more lifelong Democrat in the race, and I think his wisdom and his experience would add much to this Democratic conversation,” he said.
“I choose to be a Democrat, not just in presidential years, but in every year of my life,” he said at the Iowa State Fair last week.
O’Malley’s comments seemed to be a slight against two of his presidential opponents, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and progressive challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Clinton was a Republican in her youth, and O’Malley has hit Sanders before for being an independent and self-declared democratic socialist
According to CNN, Biden has met privately with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday at his residence at the Naval Observatory, in a sign that he is seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race.
The meeting, confirmed by two people familiar with the session, is the biggest indication yet that Biden is feeling out influential Democrats before announcing his intentions, said CNN.
Beloved by liberal Democrats, Warren decided to sit out a campaign of her own, but she has yet to formally endorse a candidate.
According to CNN, Biden has told his associates he intends to make his decision in the next month, an announcement that could upend the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Prominent Democratic politicians also discussed Biden’s plans. The governor of California, Jerry Brown, told NBC: “All I can say is if I were Hillary, I would say don’t jump in. If I were Joe Biden, I would probably give it very serious consideration.”
Brown also said the ongoing political furor surrounding Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state carried a “dark energy” and was a substantial challenge for her campaign.
“It is almost like a vampire. She is going to have to find a stake and put it right through the heart of these emails in some way,” Brown said.
A small team of advisers has spent weeks quietly putting together a campaign strategy and fundraising plan in case Biden decides to run. He had at least one meeting with them this week in Wilmington, one person familiar with the session told CNN.
With the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary six months away, Biden is the leading figure Democrats believe they could turn to if they needed to find an alternative to Clinton, whose favorability ratings have taken a deep hit as her email use while secretary of state is drawing deeper controversy.
Biden, 72, has a large and loyal collection of friends and advisers from more than four decades in Washington, said CNN.