Clinton campaign unfazed by Biden running

  • 03/08/2015
Hillary Clinton (AAP)
Hillary Clinton (AAP)

A top Hillary Clinton staffer has told CNN the former first lady's campaign team is unfazed by news that Vice President Joe Biden is giving serious consideration to a White House bid.

"We'll let him make his decision," Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's campaign spokeswoman, told CNN on Sunday.

"However hard it is to secure the Democratic nomination is however hard it is. We have no illusions. We never thought that this was going to be easy," Palmieri said.

News late on Saturday that Biden was exploring a White House run had US pundits and politicos, including some already declared candidates, handicapping his odds of wresting the Democratic nomination from Clinton, widely viewed as the top contender.

A New York Times columnist reported on Sunday that his son Beau Biden, who died in May, at the end of his life encouraged his father to run for the US presidency.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was among those weighing in Sunday on Biden's odds.

"I think that Biden would have a good chance at beating her now," Donald Trump, the leading contender in the Republican race, told CBS television.

Controversy over Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department business may have tarnished her candidacy for some voters, at least temporarily.

"I think that the email scandal is going to be a devastating blow for Hillary," said Trump, who made the rounds of various political chat shows.

"I think she's got some very big problems," he said on Sunday.

"And you look at her poll numbers, they're coming down like a crashing rocket."

Biden, 72, has run, unsuccessfully, for the White House twice before, but news reports said he has said he feels more prepared than ever for the presidency.

Trump, 69, said, however, that he was less than convinced that Biden could prevail in a general election contest.

"I don't think that he's going to be that effective as a campaigner," the outspoken Republican business mogul said.

Democratic contender Bernie Sanders, 73, told ABC on Sunday he was unconvinced Biden offers Americans a substantially different option to Clinton.

Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic party and an outspoken booster for a Biden White House run, told ABC that the vice president's family seems generally supportive of his making another presidential bid.

"This isn't some snap decision. He really is weighing how this would impact his family, he said.

"My sense around the country is there's tremendous support there. He's got to gauge that. And then he's got to do a gut check," Harpootlian said.