Obama pushed Biden not to run in 2016: NY Times

Former President Obama in 2015 pushed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE not to run for president in 2015, The New York Times reported Sunday.

According to the Times, Obama "gently pressed" Biden on his 2016 presidential ambitions over several weeks. He then ultimately had a strategist deliver a discouraging assessment to Biden of his odds in the race against then-front runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT MORE.

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“The president was not encouraging,” Biden later said, according to the Times.

Obama believed at the time that Clinton, who would become the Democratic presidential nominee and lose to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE in the general election, had the best chance to win, according to the Times. Obama also didn't think Biden was in the right state of mind to campaign for president following the death of his son, Beau, the newspaper reported.

Biden ultimately did not seek the Democratic nomination for president during that election, citing the "grieving process" following his son's death from brain cancer.

The revelation that Obama encouraged Biden not to run comes days after Biden officially launched his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. 

Biden has already tied himself close to Obama in his campaign, though he said he asked Obama not to endorse him.

“I asked President Obama not to endorse,” Biden said last week. “Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits.”

Obama praised his former VP in a statement following Biden's campaign launch.