Obama Could Make An Endorsement In Primary Between Clinton, Biden : It's All Politics A White House spokesman won't rule out the possibility of the president choosing sides in a presidential primary, even if it's a race between his former secretary of state and his vice president.
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Obama Could Make An Endorsement In Primary Between Clinton, Biden

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Obama Could Make An Endorsement In Primary Between Clinton, Biden

Obama Could Make An Endorsement In Primary Between Clinton, Biden

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/434348888/434364529" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When Vice President Joe Biden meets with Senator Elizabeth Warren, people start taking more bets on whether Biden will enter the presidential race. Such a meeting reportedly happened over the weekend, and as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, the possibility of a Biden candidacy creates certain challenges for the Obama White House.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Behind closed doors in the Obama White House, the possibility of a Democratic primary pitting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against current Vice President Joe Biden is no doubt causing some heartburn. But in the briefing room where Press Secretary Josh Earnest faces reporters, there's just a whole lot of dancing going on - not literally. ABC's Jonathan Karl was the first to try to get Earnest to weigh in today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JONATHAN KARL: How would the president deal with this if Biden actually decides to run? Here you have his current vice president against his former secretary of state.

JOSH EARNEST: Yeah, well, there's not an insignificant if in that question. And I think that's what everybody is pretty interested to find out.

KEITH: That is is Biden going to run? The vice president has said he would make his decision by the end of summer. Summer technically doesn't end until September 22. Today, the president and vice president were having lunch together, as they do almost every week. Were they talking about Biden's big decision?

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EARNEST: I'm going to be cautious of not going down the path of describing private conversations between the president of the United States and the vice president other than to tell you that those conversations tend to be wide-ranging and they cover everything from work to family. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not you think that this decision facing the vice president falls into either of those two categories.

KEITH: So if Biden decides to run, would the president weigh in on the cabinet member cage match?

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

EARNEST: I wouldn't rule out the possibility of an endorsement in the Democratic primary. I am confident the president will support the Democratic nominee in the general election.

KEITH: At least a dozen Biden-Clinton-related questions later, I just had to ask...

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KEITH: How much do you love these Biden questions?

(LAUGHTER)

EARNEST: There's certainly some other topics that I would prefer to discuss.

KEITH: Earnest is merely the messenger here. Obama himself was asked back in February in a lightning round of questions from NBC's Savannah Guthrie.

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SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden?

BARACK OBAMA: Love them both.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Good try.

GUTHRIE: I had to try. I had to try.

KEITH: She might as well have asked Sasha or Malia? For now at least, President Obama and his spokesman aren't picking favorites. Tamara Keith, NPR News, the White House.

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