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Obama stays out of Biden-Clinton 2016 fray

- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 15, 2013

Political pundits already have begun to analyze and hype the likely 2016 Democratic presidential primary fight between party heavyweights Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

But there's at least one person not interested in discussing the contest: President Obama.

"What I would say to folks out there is we are tremendously lucky to have an incredible former secretary of state who couldn't have served me better," Mr. Obama said of Mrs. Clinton during an interview on ABC's "This Week."
He showered equal praise on Mr. Biden, calling him "an incredible vice president."

"And I suspect if you asked both of them, they'd say, 'It's way too premature to start talking about'" the 2016 presidential race, Mr. Obama said.

The president's comments come as Mr. Biden is in Iowa — home of the first party caucuses and a frequent stop for White House hopefuls — to attend a steak fry hosted by Sen. Tom Harkin.

Mr. Obama, refusing to take the bait when asked about the trip by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, laughed off any political connection between the steak fry and the vice president's future White House ambitions.

"You know, Iowa's a big state, and he's an old friend of Tom Harkin's," the president said.

While a Biden-versus-Clinton primary surely would be captivating for political junkies, the president is staying neutral — at least for now.

"I just got re-elected last year. My focus is on the American people right now. I'll let you guys worry about the politics," Mr. Obama said.

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