August 16th, 2015
11:39 AM ET

Sr. Advisor to Draft Biden 2016 Joshua Alcorn: "...I think that he [BIDEN] needs to make the decision his own way. And what Draft Biden is doing is giving him the space to make this decision.”

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, senior advisor to Draft Biden 2016 and former senior advisor to Beau Biden, Joshua Alcorn, joined guest anchor & chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Will Joe Biden run?

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Alcorn on the Draft Biden movement encouraging Vice President Joe Biden to run: “I think he has a deliberative process that he's going through with his family and inner circle.  I think more than everybody he understands the demands that are put on a person running for president or as president.  So I think there are a lot of factors he's weighing but most importantly I think that he needs to make the decision his own way.  And what Draft Biden is doing is giving him the space to make this decision.”

Alcorn on Beau Biden encouraging Joe Biden to run before his death: “I know that Beau Biden believed that his father would make an incredible president.  He believed that in 1988, when the vice president ran the first time.  He believed it in 2008, when he ran most recently.  So, there's no doubt in my mind that Beau thought his dad would make an incredible president. …Beau and I had a lot of conversations, Dana, about 2016.  We would sit together in the office kind of talking who our fund raisers would be, who our pollster would be.  But we were always talking about his race for governor of Delaware in 2016.  That was his focus.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR:  Hillary Clinton made her appearance at the Iowa State Fair yesterday, facing opponents both real and imagined.  This week, not one, but two potential challenges popped up, rumor number one that Al Gore, who's rarely seen in public these days, could jump in the race.  But that was quickly shot down by his spokesperson.  Gathering more steam, though, reports that Vice President Joe Biden is seriously considering running for president. And here to tell us how he will make the decision is Josh Alcorn, who is a senior adviser of the Draft Biden campaign.  Josh, thanks so much for coming in.  Appreciate it.

JOSHUA ALCORN, SENIOR ADVISER, DRAFT BIDEN:  Thanks for having me, Dana.

BASH:  All right, so let's start with the context here.  You were a close friend of Beau Biden, who was the vice president's son, who of course passed away in late May. There was a report that he urged his father to run because he believed that - not only believed in his father, but also knows him as somebody who doesn't care about leaving and making money and that he should stay in public service.  What do you know about that?

ALCORN:  I know that Beau Biden believed that his father would make an incredible president.  He believed that in 1988, when the vice president ran the first time.  He believed it in 2008, when he ran most recently.  So, there's no doubt in my mind that Beau thought his dad would make an incredible president.

BASH:  And he told you that?

ALCORN:  I mean, Beau and I had a lot of conversations, Dana, about 2016.  We would sit together in the office kind of talking who our fund raisers would be, who our pollster would be.  But we were always talking about his race for governor of Delaware in 2016.  That was his focus.  And that was our...

(CROSSTALK)

BASH:  You almost had me there.

(LAUGHTER)

ALCORN:  I know.  I led you through with it, yes, yes.

BASH:  So the Bidens’ haven't asked you to stop doing this, to begin this Draft Biden campaign.

ALCORN:  Sure.

BASH:  That gives you hope, I would imagine.

ALCORN:  You know, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't the right thing to do.  I - for about two weeks before I joined Draft Biden, I was hearing from friends of mine and Beau's who had hosted fund-raisers for us kind of in the Biden network of supporters.  I had been hearing from people who were on the ground in Iowa, Iowans who I helped organize for the vice president in his run in 2007, calling me and saying, you know, is he getting in the race?  He should get in the race.  We would love to - love to see him on the debate stage in Las Vegas in October.  And so this is the right place for us right now, for me to be right now.

BASH:  And you are obviously getting out there as part of Draft Biden, getting grassroots support.

ALCORN:  Our list has grown significantly since we started.

BASH:  I was going to say, how much support is there for Biden versus maybe just the idea that they're not so thrilled about Hillary Clinton?

ALCORN:  I think it’s really - I mean, this isn't about Hillary Clinton or Martin O’Malley or Bernie Sanders or any of the Democrats in the race; this is about Joe Biden.  I think the reason we've seen such significant growth in our e-mails, I mean this started - Draft Biden started back in March with a couple of thousand names in an e-mail list.  We’re over 200,000 people today.

And the reason for that is I think Joe Biden is the original authentic candidate.  He's the guy that can walk around and talk to people like you and me and talk to people in Iowa and South Carolina and all over the country and really connect with them on a visceral level.  And so I think that's where the momentum is coming from.  And, you know, it's our job at Draft Biden to sort of remind people who Joe Biden is, his long career in the Senate and his close relationship with the president.

BASH:  There's some talk this weekend about whether the vice president, if he does run, should pledge to just run as a one-term president so that he can focus on policy and not worry about the politics of getting re-elected.  Is that a good idea?

ALCORN:  I mean, I think everybody's a one-term president until they're reelected, right?

BASH:  Right, but that's the point, is that they would be reelected, so you’d have to focus on politics and on campaigning and saying the right thing.  If you're a one-term president, it doesn't matter.

ALCORN:  No, I mean, I hope that Joe Biden is a two-term president.  I think most of the people who are supporting Draft Biden would as well.  But, again, this is about the kind - the level of debate he would bring, the level of dialogue he would bring to this debate.

BASH:  Just very quickly, this might be a tough one, but I’ve heard from sources who loved Joe Biden just like you that part of his thinking is that his son had two small children who now don't have a father and that he feels that he needs to be a father to them.  And obviously it's hard to do that when you're running for president.  How much do you think he should think about that?  Or maybe do you as a family friend?

ALCORN:  I think he has a deliberative process that he's going through with his family and inner circle.  I think more than everybody he understands the demands that are put on a person running for president or as president.  So I think there are a lot of factors he's weighing but most importantly I think that he needs to make the decision his own way.  And what Draft Biden is doing is giving him the space to make this decision.

BASH:  Thank you so much.  Appreciate it.  Let us know when you get the goods, OK?

ALCORN:  I will.  No problem.

BASH:  OK, thank you.

###END INTERVIEW###

 


Topics: CNN • Dana Bash • State of the Union
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