Carney: 'It'll be awesome' if Cruz, Paul run

White House press secretary Jay Carney joked Friday that it would be “awesome” if Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Pentagon to take bigger role in vetting foreign students after Pensacola shooting Overnight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons MORE (R-Ky.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Senate Republicans air complaints to Trump administration on trade deal MORE (R-Texas) ran for president in 2016.

“I think they all ought to run,” Carney said. “It'll be awesome.”


Carney made the quip as he was looking to deflect questions about whether President Obama would choose sides in a hypothetical Democratic showdown between Vice President Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo, the polls aren't wrong — but you have to know what to look for How to shut down fake Republican outrage over 'spying' on Trump More than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls MORE.

“I'm not going to get into 2016,” Carney said. “Unless you want to — we could talk about the Republicans. That's pretty interesting.”

The questions about Biden and Clinton came on the heels of revelations that Obama's campaign team secretly weighed replacing Biden with Clinton on the 2012 ticket.

According to Double Down, an upcoming book by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, spooked by the president’s dropping poll numbers in fall of 2011, ordered campaign staffers to poll and focus-group the impact of a switch.

Carney dismissed the report, saying there was no serious discussion of dropping Biden from the ticket.

He also said Obama believed Biden would be a strong president.

“I think the president picked Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications MORE as his running mate for the right reason, which is that, if necessary, Vice President Biden could be president,” Carney said. “That's, I think, the first item on your checklist when you're picking your running mate.”