Earnest: Adding Biden "Smartest Decision Obama Has Ever Made In Politics," He Can "Mount A Successful Campaign"

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At Monday's White House press briefing, the first since President Obama returned from his summer sojourn in Martha's Vineyard, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked White House press secretary Josh Earnest about the increasing rumors that Vice President Joe Biden is considering challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.

Earnest brought up an old quote by President Obama, that adding the former Senator from Delaware to the 2008 ticket was "the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics."

"The president has indicated that his view that the decision that he made, I guess 7 years ago now, to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense into the president's view into Vice President's aptitude for the top job," Earnest said.

After Earnest was finished quoting the president's opinion of Joe Biden, Karl made a joke that implied Hillary Clinton wasn't that great of choice for Secretary of State. The press room erupted in laughter, including Earnest himself who didn't try to smooth over the situation.

"This is obviously, you know, a better decision than the secretary of state he choose," Karl quipped.

Earnest continued to lavish praise on the vice president, noting "there is no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign" than Joe Biden.

"I'll just say that the vice president is somebody who has already run for president twice," Earnest said Monday. "He's been on a national ticket through two election cycles now, both in 2008 and the reelection of 2012. So, I think you could probably make the case that there is no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign."

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: So you have the development over the weekend that the vice president came back and met with Elizabeth Warren. How does the president deal with this if Biden actually decides to run? You have his current vice president versus the former Secretary of State.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Well, that's not an insignificant if in that question. And I think that's what everybody is pretty interested in finding out is what decision the vice president is going to make. The president has indicated that his view that the decision that he made, I guess 7 years ago now, to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense into the president's view into Vice President's aptitude for the top job.

KARL: So, I'd assume that means the president would support Vice President Biden if were to run? And this is obviously, you know, a better decision than the secretary of state he choose. So, uh -- well you said it was the best decision he ever made.

EARNEST: Yeah, it was...

EARNEST: The president has spoke at quite some length about the appreciation and respect and admiration he has for the service of Secretary Clinton, particularly in her four years as Secretary of State.

KARL: Just not his best decision.

EARNEST: Well, he, again, I think all of you and your coverage of some of the president's comments about Secretary Clinton have noted how warm those comments were.

I'll just say that the vice president is somebody who has already run for president twice. He's been on a national ticket through two election cycles now, both in 2008 and the reelection of 2012. So, I think you could probably make the case that there is no one in American politics today who has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign. That means he's going to collect all the information that he needs to make a decision.

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