President Obama called Vice President Biden “one of the best vice presidents in our history” and said he would have refused to take him off the ticket even if his pollsters and campaign aides had recommended it.
Calling his selection of the former senator from Delaware “one of the best decisions I've ever made,” Obama brushed aside a report that his campaign polled about whether he should dump Biden from the ticket and replace him with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He chalked the report up to “would-be leakers” trying to “seem important.”
“If they had asked me, I would have said there is no way that I am not running again with Joe Biden,” Obama told NBC's Chuck Todd Thursday evening in an interview at the White House.
The anecdote about Obama campaign operatives poll-testing the idea of swapping out Biden was tucked into a new book, “Double Down: Game Change 2012,” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.
Obama also called Biden “a personal friend” and “one of my most important advisers on domestic and foreign policy.”
A White House spokesman had previously said he didn't know if Obama had talked to Biden about the leak but Obama made no bones about the fact that the two had discussed it.
He said the vice president knows “I would not be here it it weren't for the support that I have had from Joe Biden.”
“I like him,” he added. “When my back's up against the wall, he has my back.”