White House press secretary Jay Carney grew frustrated Thursday with repeated questions about the 2016 election and accused reporters of being obsessed with a potential showdown between Vice President Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Carney faced questions from four separate reporters during his daily press briefing about the hypothetical face-off between Clinton and Biden. The questions were prompted by the vice president suggesting in a number of recent media appearances that he was considering whether to make a bid.
During an interview on "The View" earlier this week, Biden said Clinton's decision on whether or not to run would not influence his choice.
"Whether she runs or not will not affect my decision," Biden said, adding that he has still not made up his mind.
"I have absolutely not said no," he said. "I'm as likely to run as to not run."
Carney insisted that Biden was "focused on the work he's doing with the president on behalf of this administration to expand opportunity for the American people."
"You know Vice President Biden. I know Vice President Biden. When he's asked a question, he answers it. That's what he does," Carney said.
The White House spokesman refused to indicate where the president might be leaning on a potential endorsement, were his vice president and former secretary of State to face off.
"Questions about 2016 are just not in his mind," Carney said. "And since my job is to channel him from this podium, they're not on my mind either."
But he did say that Obama believed Biden "would be a good president and could be president."
"That's why he chose him as vice president. That's why responsible candidates for president choose as a running mate someone they believe can fill that office. And the president has great faith in Vice President Biden," Carney said.
Carney added that Obama was "very appreciative of the service that Secretary Clinton gave to this administration and to the president's foreign policy team," saying the former first lady "did excellent work."
"They have a very good relationship," Carney said.
A CBS News/New York Times poll released on Wednesday found that 82 percent of Democratic voters want Clinton to run, versus just 13 percent who do not. By contrast, 42 percent of Democrats say Biden should mount a bid, with 39 percent saying he should not.