Jim Messina, the campaign manager of President Obama's reelection effort in 2012, flatly denied that "anyone who mattered" considered dropping Vice President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE to add Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future Popping the progressive bubble MORE to the ticket.
Let me be clear: VP-HRC switch never considered by POTUS or anyone who mattered in the campaign. #sillyseason— Jim Messina (@Messina2012) November 1, 2013
Messina's denial came after journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported in their new book Double Down that then-White House chief of staff Bill Daley, spooked by the president’s drooping poll numbers in the fall of 2011, ordered campaign staffers to poll and focus-group the impact of switching the two.
Earlier Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he didn't know if President Obama was aware of Daley's efforts, but that the idea was never seriously considered.
"The president never considered that, and had anyone brought that idea to him, he would have laughed it out of the room," Carney said.
Carney, who previously worked as a spokesman for Biden, also offered a defense of the vice president.
"If you look back at 2012, and you look at that moment in the campaign when the vice president had his debate, it was a key moment, and Joe Biden delivered for the ticket," Carney said. "I think there's no question about that, and the president knew he would."