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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shares a moment with Vice President Joseph Biden (L) during a leadership portrait unveiling ceremony for Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) December 8, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong--Getty Images)
Alex Wong—Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden says Hillary Clinton felt obligated to run for president again in 2016, since she was the first woman who really had the opportunity to win the presidency.

“She thought she had no choice but to run,” Biden said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “That, as the first woman who had an opportunity to win the presidency, I think it was a real burden on her.” He said she saw her campaign as a way to open up “a whole range of new vistas to women.”

But Biden says the leaked Wikileaks emails revealed that her campaign lacked clarity of purpose behind her campaign. “I don’t think she ever really figured it out,” Biden said. “And by the way, I think it was really hard for her to decide to run.” He said her decision was more about duty to American women than raw ambition.

Biden also says Democrats need to adjust their message to speak to high-school educated, middle class people who feel left out of the economy, and suggested that Trump’s victory can’t be explained by racism and sexism alone.

“They’re all the people I grew up with,” he said. “They’re their kids. And they’re not racist. They’re not sexist. But we didn’t talk to them.”

He said that some of the Democrat’s laser-focus on issues of equality may have alienated working-class voters who are concerned with putting food on the table.

“We should be proud of where the hell we are, and not yield an inch,” he said. “But in the meantime, you can’t eat equality.”

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