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Joe Biden: ‘Honest to God answer’ is I still don’t know if I can commit to presidential run

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Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he is still trying to determine whether he has the emotional energy to mount a White House bid in 2016 but cannot say yet whether he will.

In his first extensive public comments about a possible run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden said, “I can’t look you straight in the eye now and say I know I can do it.”

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Biden, 72, has been huddling with advisers for weeks to determine whether he will challenge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has seen her favorability ratings plummet over her use of a private email server while working as the nation’s top diplomat.

“The most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run,” Biden, who lost his son, Beau, to cancer earlier this year, said in response to a question.

“The factor is, can I do it?” he said. “The honest to God answer is I just don’t know.”

Biden was in Atlanta on Thursday night to deliver a foreign policy lecture after concluding a two-day visit to the political battleground state of Florida, where he avoided any discussion of a possible White House run.

Biden said he would not be swayed by questions about whether he could raise enough money or mount an effective organization after getting a late start. The only factor, he said, was his and his family’s commitment.

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“Can my family undertake what is an arduous commitment?” he said.

“Unless I can go to my party and the American people and say I am able to devote my whole heart and soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.”

Biden has stepped up his public schedule, and will travel to Pittsburgh on Monday for Labor Day celebrations and New York later in the week to appear on Stephen Colbert’s talk show.

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But he said he did not know when he would make a decision.

“There is no way to put a timetable on it,” he said.

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(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Doina Chiacu, Eric Beech and Ken Wills)


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Maddow destroys ‘bad faith’ complaints about impeachment from Republican Trump supporters

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The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Friday blasted "bad faith" arguments from Republicans about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Maddow recounted the process complaints by Republicans -- each of which has disappeared.

"After going through all of that, they now have unveiled a new objection as to why President Trump cannot actually be subject to this impeachment proceeding, a new noble stand they're taking for fairness and the American way -- they have rolled it out with our friends at the Fox News channel," Maddow said.

She played a clip of former GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich on Fox News.

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Everyone is baffled by Trump’s rambling rant about flushing toilets ’10 times, 15 times’

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Another day, another truly baffling series of words coming from President Donald Trump’s mouth.

Speaking at a White House meeting on Friday about small business and regulation, Trump went on one of his trademark riffs, touching on a number of subjects with the clarity of a muddy puddle. He seemed to be referring to a series of complaints that have been raised over the years about various consumer product regulations (a favorite topic of Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky) but without making a coherent point about any of them.

Read the whole stream of consciousness rant to get a sense of what it was like:

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Adam Schiff pushes Pence to declassify aide’s secret information — implying it might be embarrassing or illegal

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House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter on Friday to Vice President Mike Pence urging him to declassify the entirety of his Sept. 18 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky for use in the impeachment inquiry.

Though the vice president’s office, along with the rest of the administration, has stonewalled the impeachment inquiry’s requests for documents, Schiff’s committee obtained information about the Sept. 18 call through Jennifer Williams, a Pence aide who has already testified. Initially, Schiff explained, Williams testified about Pence’s call and did not assert that any part of it was classified. When she testified publicly, however, she said Pence’s office had since determined that the call was classified. She later sent the committee a “supplemental submission” after reviewing “materials” that refreshed her memory about the call — and it’s that supplemental submission that Schiff would like to see declassified.

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