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Biden Says 2016 Decision Coming ‘At the End of the Summer’

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Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday he will make up his mind whether to seek the presidency “sometime at the end of the summer.”

Speaking to reporters in Des Moines, Iowa—home of the first-in-the-nation caucuses—where he addressed Drake University students and toured a local community college, Biden said he still has close ties to the state after twice before seeking the White House, but added he is not organizing for a potential third bid while in Iowa.

“That’s a family personal decision that I’m going to make sometime at the end of the summer,” Biden said. “In the meantime, though, this is about convincing the public and in turn some of our Republican friends that what we’re proposing in the budget is a continuation of the stuff that works. It actually works.”

Few Democrats expect Biden to actually mount a campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is gearing up to announce her presidential campaign in the coming months and holds a substantial lead in all polling.

“I’ve been here a lot, I have a lot of friends,” Biden continued. “I’m going to see some of my friends are still in the Legislature and they’re here today. But no I’m not doing any organization if that’s what you mean. … I met with old friends like Kevin McCarthy and the newest, youngest state rep who was just elected who worked on one of my campaigns early on. But this is really about connecting opportunity with specific job opportunities and training.”

In his remarks at Drake, Biden said the next election would be a battle to continue the Obama administration’s policies. “Some say that would amount to the third term for the president. I call it sticking with what works,” he said.

Biden was asked by a student how to increase voter interest and participation in the political process, and replied simply “Be candid and authentic,” two areas where some believe Clinton has long struggled.

He also bemoaned the increasingly personal nature of political attacks.

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