Vice President Biden, currently visiting Iraq, said the Obama administration has fulfilled its campaign promise to end the war in that nation. He also refused to rule out a possible presidential bid in 2016.
Biden, who is meeting with Iraqi officials ahead of the deadline for the drawdown of American forces and will participate in ceremonies to honor U.S. and Iraqi troops, said Iraq’s government and military are ready to defend themselves. Biden will also visit Turkey and Greece before returning to Washington.
“I am never ready to close the door on anything,” Biden said. “I am intent on reelecting Barack Obama president of the United States of America. The rest will take care of itself.”
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Biden’s comments mirror those he made in October in an interview with CNN.
“My one focus right now is getting the president reelected. I’ll make up my mind on [running in 2016] later,” Biden told CNN. “I’m not closing any door. My job now and will be vice president of the United States, and we got the order right — President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.”
Biden previously ran for president in 2008.
The vice president said the administration deserves credit for bringing troops home while ensuring a strong Iraqi government.
Biden said the United States has left in place “the prospect of a trained military, a trained security force under democratic institutions where the disparate parties for the first time are actually working together.”
He said that while there are concerns about Iran’s influence in Iraq after an American withdrawal, the United States would stay involved in the region.
“There is no possibility of them having the capacity without the world reacting — not just the United States, the world reacting if all of a sudden Iran was to move across its border and invade any of the countries in the region,” he said.
— This story was updated at 9:05 a.m.