Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said Joe Biden should be given "space" to make up his mind about a presidential bid and that she had not been making "behind-the-scenes" moves as the vice president mulls his decision.
"Vice President Biden is a friend of mine—he and I were colleagues in the Senate, I worked with him as first lady, I worked with him in President Obama's first term, and I have a great deal of admiration and respect for him," Clinton told reporters after a campaign event in Ankeny, Iowa. "I think he has to make what is a very difficult decision for himself and his family, and he should have the space and opportunity to decide what he wants to do."
Clinton said she hadn't been in touch with Biden privately to discuss 2016, and that she is continuing to run her campaign and "do what I believe I should be doing.
"I don't think it's useful to be behind the scenes asking this or saying that," she said. "I've done none of that."
She also noted that Biden, whose eldest son, Beau, died earlier this summer, has a lot on his mind. She mentioned that she had attended Beau Biden's funeral back in June.
"I cannot even imagine the grief and the heartbreak," she said. "I mean, Joe has had more terrible events than most people can even contemplate: losing his first wife, losing his first daughter, now losing his son."
The former secretary of State also reacted to the shooting in Virginia Wednesday morning, in which a reporter and cameraman were shot and killed by a disgruntled former coworker while live on the air. Clinton said something must be done about the gun violence that is "stalking our country.
"I was just so stricken to think that these two young people doing the work that you guys do every single day would be murdered on live television," Clinton said. "And I will extend my condolences and sympathies to their families … but I will also reiterate, we have got to do something about gun violence in America. And I will take it on."
She added that though it is a politically difficult issue to navigate, something has to be done to prevent more "carnage" like the shooting in Virginia.
"There are many people who face it and know it but then turn away because it's hard—it's a very politically difficult issue in America," she said. "But I believe we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough, to balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights with preventative measures and control measures so that … we will not see more deaths—needless, senseless deaths."
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