February 12, 2015 / 11:18 PM / 3 years ago

Biden says 2016 should be debate about continuing Obama's policies

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden looks on during a meeting with Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic (not pictured) during the 51st Munich Security Conference in Munich February 8, 2015.Michaela Rehle

DES MOINES (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden was vague on Thursday about whether he would seek to succeed President Barack Obama, but said the 2016 White House campaign should be centered on whether to continue Obama's policies.

With Hillary Clinton the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, Biden has made no apparent move toward launching a campaign. On a visit to Iowa, the state that holds the first nominating contest early next year, he said a decision is months away.

"That's a family personal decision that I'm going to make sometime at the end of the summer," Biden told reporters.

Biden, as the sitting vice president, would typically be next in line for the nomination for his party. But the strength and appeal of former Secretary of State Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, has put Biden on the sidelines.

In remarks at Drake University, Biden said the next campaign should be about Obama's economic policies, which he said are working.

“I call it sticking with what works,” Biden said, “and what we ought to do.” He chastised fellow Democrats who he said have tried to distance themselves from Obama administration policies.

"In my view those seeking to lead the nation should protect and defend and run, yes, run on what we’ve done, own what we have done, stand for what we have done, acknowledge what we have done and be judged on what (we have) done if we have any chance of a resurgence in 2016,” Biden said.

The Republican National Committee quickly picked up on Biden's remarks and said it bolstered their argument that the next Democratic nominee will be campaigning to serve Obama's "third term."

Writing By Steve Holland; Editing by John Whitesides and Tom Brown

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