Biden: Weak economy could nix 2016 run

Vice President Joe Biden speakis with members of the media in Greenville, Del., on Nov. 6, 2012.

Vice President Joe Biden, who has steadfastly kept the door open to another bid for the White House in 2016, indicated today that he might not be so eager to jump into the fray if the economy continues to struggle.

"There's plenty of time to think about 2016. We've got to get this economy working. If three years from now the economy is not working, it's not going to be worth doing much. This is all about making Barack an incredibly successful second-term president. That's my focus," Biden said at an unannounced stop in Delaware Thursday morning, The Wilmington News Journal reports.

Despite widespread skepticism within the Beltway about Biden's prospects in 2016, during the campaign, the 69-year-old vice president seemed to relish teasing the press corps with hints about his agenda four years hence.

While casting his ballot in Delaware on Election Day, Biden was asked by reporters, "Is this the last time you will vote for yourself?"

Biden, with a wide grin, coyly replied, "No, I don't think so."

Earlier in the campaign, at a restaurant in Sarasota, Fla., he defended the federal health care reform law in a phone conversation with a voter: "Look, I'm not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say 'hi' to you. And after it's all over, when your insurance rates go down, then you'll vote for me in 2016."