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Axelrod: Hillary will likely be 'the candidate' for Democrats in 2016

Former senior White House official David Axelrod said Friday he believes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would likely be "the candidate" for Democrats in 2016 if she decides to run for president. 

And Axelrod said that Vice President Biden would likely run if Clinton passes on a White House campaign. 

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"I think that Hillary Clinton probably will be the candidate," Axelrod said Friday on MSNBC. "If she doesn't run, I think Biden will run."

Axelrod's comments are perhaps the boldest prediction about the 2016 presidential race he's made to date. 

Both Clinton and Biden have suggested an openness for running for president, and a number of top Democratic lawmakers have already said they would support a Clinton presidential bid. 

Axelrod has previously said that Clinton would be a "very strong" candidate for president. In January, he told The Wall Street Journal that Clinton would be a unique Democratic candidate for the position. 

"There are formidable people" who could run for the Democratic nomination in 2016, Axelrod said, adding "the vice president chief among them. But she has undeniable assets that would put her in a strong position relative to the rest of the field, and relative to the Republicans."