WASHINGTON -- Joe Biden flew to Miami on Wednesday to deliver a speech on higher education and income inequality. But as he began his prepared remarks at Miami Dade College, the vice president couldn't help but slyly comment on the intense speculation over his possible candidacy in the 2016 presidential race.
"Look at all the press you’ve attracted," Biden told a gathering of students and faculty. "Their interest in community college has impressed me. I hope that’s what they are going to write about!”
The vice president continues to weigh a presidential bid, and he has said he will make a final decision sometime this fall. Although he has not yet made any moves typical of a candidate testing a potential candidacy -- such as hiring staff in key early primary states or organizing an exploratory committee -- Biden has reportedly sounded out key allies about the prospect of challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the current front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Portions of Biden's remarks in Miami about the need to invest additional funds in higher education sounded like the broad outlines of a campaign speech.
"Being in the middle class is not a reflection of your salary. It’s a value set," he said, adding that it "means you’re able to own your home. ... It means you can send your kid to a park and know that they’ll come home safely."
Prior to the speech, Biden visited with a group of students who were conducting an experiment at at the school's biotechnology lab. When one student asked if the vice president would like to lend a hand, Biden demurred.
"No, I'm going to watch," he said, according to a pool report. "I can see the press headline: Biden Screws Up Experiment."