White House: Obama never considered replacing Biden
White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed a report that President Obama considered replacing Joe Biden with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the 2012 ticket, saying campaigns routinely test a number of possibilities in focus groups and polls.
Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — Even if his campaign staff may have considered replacing Joe Biden with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the ticket in 2012, President Obama would have “laughed (the idea) out of the room,” a White House spokesman said Friday.
A new book, “Double Down” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, however, reports that senior officials researched the possibility in the early stages of the campaign before deciding against it.
White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed the report, saying campaigns routinely test a number of possibilities in focus groups and polls, ranging from what the president’s top priorities should be to what he should eat for breakfast.
“What I can tell you, without a doubt, is that the president never considered that,” Carney said, referring to the report about Biden.
Halperin and Heilemann reported that then-White House Chief of Staff William Daley ordered aides to begin investigating the possibility of a Biden-for-Clinton swap in fall 2011, when Obama’s political situation was seen as precarious.
Daley, in a television interview Friday, called the reporting “an overhype.”
“I think one of the jobs of chief of staff is to recommend lots of things out of the box, but not for a moment was there a serious discussion or a belief that Joe Biden should be replaced, period,” Daley said on “CBS This Morning.”
Daley also echoed Carney in saying that anyone who would have presented the idea to Obama “probably would have been thrown out immediately.”
The vice president’s office had no comment on the report.