Joe Biden won't rule out 2016 presidential bid

Dec 1, 2011, 10:07 by R.E. Christian

Vice President Joe Biden says he's focused on re-electing President Obama, but hasn't ruled out his own U.S. presidential bid in 2016.

"I am never ready to close the door on anything," Biden told NBC's "Today" during an interview in Iraq. "That's just a foolish thing to do. I learned a long time ago."

Biden was visiting officials and troops in Iraq ahead of the U.S. pullout at the end of the year.

"I am intent on re-electing Barack Obama president of the United States of America," he said. "The rest will take care of itself.

Biden said the pending withdrawal of U.S. troops is a statement that "we've done our job -- ending the war we did not start, [ending] it in a responsible way [and bringing] Americans home."

After all the training U.S. forces conducted with their Iraqi counterparts, "the idea that there is a sufficient capacity to bringing down this government and all democratic processes � no longer exists," Biden said.

Any move by Iran to take control of Iraq after the U.S. pullout would be met by "world reaction," Biden said. "Not just the United States, [but] the world reacting if all of a sudden Iran was to move across its border and invade any of the countries in the region."

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani presented Biden and other U.S. officials with the "shield of commitment" medal during a ceremony in Baghdad honoring U.S. and Iraqi troops.

"History will record that the liberation of our country was not only an important turning point in Iraq but it was an important beginning for the region," Talabani said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the U.S. withdrawal will help remove the opportunity for some countries to "to interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq."

Because of the efforts of Iraq's leaders and people, "we are now able to end this war," Biden said during the ceremony at Al Faw Palace, built by Iraq's deposed despot, Saddam Hussein, who later was executed.

Source: UPI