With the 2016 presidential election clearly in the rearview mirror, former Vice President Joe Biden has disclosed that he had not been wildly enthused by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. Biden added that, in his view, he would have been a better standard bearer for the party.
On May 18, Biden spoke before a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas. During his remarks, the former vice president appeared to knock Clinton while suggesting that he would have been a superior candidate in the 2016 election, CNN reports.
"I never thought she was a great candidate," Biden told the conference. "I thought I was a great candidate."
While Biden appeared to be criticizing Clinton's campaign chops, he added "Hillary would have been a really good president."
Biden had been critical of Clinton's loss to President Donald Trump before; on March 30, the former vice president indirectly offered an unflattering assessment of the Clinton campaign.
"What happened was that this was the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for -- and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class," Biden stated during an event at the University of Pennsylvania, according to CNN. "You didn't hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making $60,000 bucks a year and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in a restaurant."
Biden had also previously expressed confidence that, had he been the Democratic nominee, he would have defeated Trump.
On March 26, Biden stated during a panel at Colgate University that he had decided not to enter the 2016 presidential race because he was still grieving the death of his son, Beau Biden.
"I don't regret not running in the sense that it was the right decision for my boy, for me, for my family at the time," Biden said, according to CBS News. "But do I regret not being president? Yes."
While he did not mention either Clinton or Trump, Biden suggested that he would have beaten both of them.
"Although it would have been a very difficult primary, I think I could have won," Biden continued. "I had a lot of data and I was fairly confident that if I were the Democratic party's nominee, I had a better chance, even, of being president."
While all of those decisions are now in the past, Democrats have been speculating on Biden's future, wondering whether the former vice president would run to challenge Trump in the 2020 race. During his remarks in Las Vegas, Biden stated "I may very well do it."
On May 16, a Public Policy Polling survey found that respondents believed Biden was the potential Democratic nominee most likely to defeat Trump in a hypothetical 2020 matchup. The survey found that 54 percent of respondents said they would vote for Biden, while only 40 percent would cast a ballot for Trump. Arriving in second place was independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who respondents favored over Trump by a margin of 52 percent to 39 percent, The Hill reports.