By Jordan Fabian - 09/16/15 06:35 PM EDT
Vice President Biden met with the secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union, Geoconda Arguello Kline, in California on Wednesday as he weighs a run for president in 2016.
Biden is in the Golden State to deliver a pair of speeches on climate change, but he took time to meet with the head of the politically powerful labor union during a stop in Los Angeles.
The culinary union is the most powerful labor organization in Nevada, an important early-voting state, and their endorsement is highly coveted by Democratic candidates.
The party’s front-runner, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonLocal leaders turning the heat up on Citizens United WATCH LIVE: Trump speaks at third Ohio rally Picking longtime fixer as chief of staff proves Clinton hasn't changed MORE, and upstart candidate Bernie Sanders have both vied for union support in the state.
The union, whose membership is heavily Hispanic, endorsed Barack Obama over Clinton during the 2008 campaign.
Biden has not made a decision on whether to enter the 2016 race. If he does, his supporters believe his working-class roots will help him be an effective messenger on income inequality, an issue that is dominating the campaign.
Throughout his decision-making process, Biden has met with potential backers, including union chiefs.
He marched in a Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh attended by Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, who has yet to make an endorsement in the presidential race.
Biden delivered a fiery, populist message to the Labor Day audience, warning that the rich have amassed too much wealth and political influence in America.
Union members are “the only ones who have the power to keep the barbarians at the gate.”
“Without the ability to sit down with the most powerful entities in the world, without that ability to negotiate, there is no shot, no shot for any American worker,” he added. “I don’t mean labor, I mean any American worker.”
Despite the increased speculation he’s ready to run, Biden has publicly expressed doubt he has the “emotional fuel” to run following the death of his son Beau, who died in May from brain cancer.
Biden told “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert that nobody should run for the nation’s highest office “unless they are willing to give it 110 percent” of their heart and soul.
“I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there,” he said. “I’m being completely honest.”