Biden: ‘I think I am the most qualified person in the country to be president’

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Demand for US workers reaches historic high Biden to award Medal of Honor to three soldiers who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan: report MORE fueled speculation he might make a 2020 bid for the White House, saying Monday night that he believes he is the “most qualified” person to take on President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE.

“I'll be as straight with you as I can. I think I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president,” Biden said at a stop for his book tour in Missoula, Mont. “The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I've worked on my whole life.”

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“No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I've been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that I have — even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right, but I know a great deal about it,” he added.

Several election prognosticators believe Biden is laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign and that his association with former President Obama, who remains popular, and the Scranton, Pa., native's appeal to middle America could make him a worthy opponent to Trump. However, Biden said the decision will be made in consultation with his family. 

“I have two young grandchildren my son left who love me and adore me and want me around. I want to be there to take care of them, so we've got to figure out whether or not this is something we can all do as a family,” he said. “We're going to make that decision in the next six weeks to two months, and that's the basis of the decision.”

Biden deflected several possible disadvantages to a campaign, including his gaffe-prone rhetoric, his age and his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Anita Hill hearing, which has sparked concerns that he is not in touch with the concerns of the "Me Too" movement.

“I'm ready to litigate all those things. The question is, what kind of nation are we becoming? What are we going to do? Who are we?” Biden asked. “Whether or not I run, whoever runs, I'm going to break my neck to make sure they win. We can't have four more years.”

Should Biden run, he would likely be a front-runner in a crowded Democratic primary field that could host other high-profile names such as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray discusses US's handling of COVID-19 testing Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Overnight Defense & National Security — Lawmakers clinch deal on defense bill MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley — Presented by Connected Commerce Council — Incident reporting language left out of package Exporting gas means higher monthly energy bills for American families Senators turn up the heat on Amazon, data brokers during hearing MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTop Dem vows party won't let expanded child tax credit expire at month's end Hugh Hewitt pleads with Trump to not endorse Greitens in Missouri Jussie Smollett's final act: How a hate crime hoax became a pitch for jury nullification MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid in bid against Abbott McConaughey on Texas run: 'I will let you know shortly' O'Rourke raises M in first 24 hours of Texas governor campaign MORE (D-Texas), among others.