Report: Biden 'increasingly leaning toward' White House run
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Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE is "increasingly leaning toward" entering the fray for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

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Biden is reportedly leaning toward a bid if it is deemed possible to pull together a competitive campaign at this relatively late stage in the race, according to the report, which said he "is weighing multiple political, financial and family considerations before making a final decision."

“The vice president has not made a decision about his political future,” Biden Press Secretary Kendra Barkoff told the newspaper. “Anyone speculating that he has made a decision is wrong.”

The White House, meanwhile, announced Monday that Biden hired a new communications director with campaign experience.

Kate Bedingfield, who was chief spokesperson for the Motion Picture Association of America, worked with John Edwards on his 2008 White House campaign.

"She will be a key adviser to me, a terrific asset to our office, and an important member of the entire White House organization," Biden said in a statement.

Speculation that Biden may mount a direct challenge to longtime Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for the nomination has spiked in recent weeks. A decision is likely next month.

Reports indicated that Biden reached out to potential supporters during his vacation to South Carolina earlier this month, and met privately with liberal darling, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), over the weekend. Clinton met with Warren back in December.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democratic presidential candidate, praised the idea of the vice president entering the race during an appearance Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Biden," O'Malley said. "He's a very, very good and decent man. It would be nice to have at least one more lifelong Democrat in the race.”

California Gov. Edmund G. Brown, another Democrat, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that, if he were Biden, he would give “very serious consideration” to running for president.

--This report was updated at 7:27 a.m.