ATLANTA - Vice President Joe Biden says he is unsure whether he will seek the presidency and his decision will depend on whether he and his family have the "emotional energy to run."
Biden says at an Atlanta synagogue that he "can't look you straight in the eye and say now, 'I know I can do it.'"
The vice president was asked about his interest in a late entry into the 2016 Democratic primaries following a lecture on U.S. foreign policy and international measures by the Obama administration.
Biden says unless he can go to Democrats and the American people and say he's able to "devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate."
Biden spoke at the Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Buckhead for the Fran Eizenstat and Eizenstat Family Annual Lecture.
Earlier in the day, Biden sought to allay concerns of South Florida Jewish leaders who fear Iran won too many concessions in the agreement, which seeks to curb the country's nuclear program in exchange for hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions. It followed an education event in Miami on Wednesday in which he promoted Obama's plans to address college affordability and middle-class economics.
Wasserman Schultz said she still has questions about the agreement and was consulting widely, including with Biden, before announcing her intentions. "This is a decision not only to be made based on your head but one that will be made with my Jewish heart," she said. She told reporters that Biden's 2016 considerations did not come up during the meeting, part of which was closed to reporters.
Biden offered a lengthy defense of the pact, saying it would "take the nuclear bomb off the table" and allow for inspections for years to come. "This is a good deal," he said.
At one point, Biden said he thinks of the consequences every day and pulled out a card that he keeps in his suit pocket — "because every life matters, because of my son" — with a daily update of the number of U.S. troops serving overseas, counts of soldiers killed or wounded and the miles he has traveled as vice president — 992,894 as of Thursday. Biden's 46-year-old son, Beau Biden, an Iraq war veteran, died in May.
Some political analysts suggest that Biden aligning himself with Obama on a foreign policy milestone may mean that he is looking to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Iran is expected to play a heavy part in the 2016 presidential debates.
Republicans were quick to point out the Vice President's agreement with President Obama's foreign policy.
“Whether it is Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton, Democrats are just repackaging President Obama’s same old partisan rhetoric and stale ideas. Americans want new ideas, new leadership, and a new direction from their next president,” Republican National Committee Spokeswoman Ali Pardo told FOX 5 in a statement."The Obama-Biden Administration’s Iran deal not only falls short of its own goals, it empowers the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism while never ultimately blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon."
The Associated Press contributed to his report