Former Vice President Joe Biden admitted to hedge fund managers at the annual SALT conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday that he never had the upmost confidence Hillary Clinton as being the best person to lead the country.
“[I don’t think Hillary Clinton] was a great candidate] for the Democratic Party to win the presidency],” Biden expressed in a remark that drew applause from attendees at the event,” according to The Street.
The comment came as a surprise to many – on both sides of the party line.
“But the knock on her fitness as the party’s standard-bearer candidate was startling, considering how tirelessly President Obama and other Democratic luminaries campaigned for her last fall,” Fox News reported.
Clinton’s poor sportsmanship has been noted by many critics, as well.
“Clinton has emerged in recent weeks from a period of privacy and reflection to discuss last year’s defeat,” the Fox report continued. “In public remarks, she has partly blamed campaign email leaks tied to Russia and former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to revisit her own personal email scandal days before the election, only to close the case again in the final hours.”
Despite his knock on Clinton’s candidacy, Biden ended up backpedaling a little later in his speech.
"Hillary would have been a good president," he later conceded, according to Business Insider.
Former President Barack Obama’s ex-running mate addressed his own future candidacy with the crowd, as well.
"Could I? Yes. Would I?” Biden asked supporters before answering his own question again, according to The Street. “Probably no."
He bowed out of competing against Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in last year’s presidential run due to family matters.
“Biden had considered running for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election, but ultimately decided not to run as he focused on being with his son, Beau Biden, a former state attorney general of Delaware, who died in 2015 after battling brain cancer,” The Street reported. “He said his priority for now was to focus on his family and concentrate on a few personal financial matters before deciding whether to run for president.”
Biden stressed that he was not able to give a presidential role his 100 percent when pondering the thought last year, and therefore decided to let Clinton and Sanders go head-to-head for the Democratic ticket.
"You should never run for president unless you can look the public in the eye, and say 'I give you my word, you'll have all my energy and all my time,'” the two-term vice president shared. "My family has to get back together. If I get those things done, and I'm healthy and viable, and it looks like I'm the best man to do it, I may very well do it, but my family comes first."
He then urged legislators on Capitol Hill to end the divisiveness, noting that the partisanship and hostility between Republicans and Democrats has escalated over the past few years to the extent that it is hurting the country.
"It's gotten so personal, but it's going to come back because you can't govern this country – no matter who you are –without generating a consensus," Biden assured, The Street reported. "It is impossible. The public is sick of it."
The career Democratic politician then shared with the audience that he will donate to charity all of the $200,000 he received for his speaking engagement – unlike Clinton and Obama.
"I'm not accepting any of it," he told those in attendance, as they cheered loudly.
He did not mention the more than $3 million Obama made during his “climate change” conference earlier this month in Italy – when he urged Italians and global citizen to eat less beef to stop so-called “global warming.”
Still stumping for Obama and bashing Trump
Taking advantage of the fact that the progressive mainstream media readily embraced Obama over the past eight years, Biden reportedly took the opportunity to draw attention to the incessant attacks waged by the media and fellow Democrats on President Donald Trump.
“The former vice president offered commentary on President Barack Obama's two terms in office that also appeared to serve as an undercover critique of the current administration,” Business Insider’s Bryan Logan noted about Biden’s speech.
He then took it a step further and claimed that Obama left his two terms without any mayor controversies – even though the conservative media has recently listed off dozens of the former president’s scandals that did not get much coverage from the liberal media – including Libya, Benghazi and “Fast and Furious” … just to name a few.
“[Obama served eight years in office] without a single scandal – not one," Biden claimed as the audience offered applause, according to Business Insider.
Conceding that Obama made “some” mistakes, the former VP shouted out a few more accolades for his old boss.
"[Obama was] absolutely, totally competent [and took his job] extremely seriously," Biden insisted.