Vice President Joe Biden, mulling a run for the White House in 2016, visited New York City Thursday to effusive praise from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo -- and a suggestion by Mayor Bill de Blasio that he stay out of the campaign.
"If you're talking about the state of the presidential race, I think it's pretty straightforward: We have a very impressive group of Democratic candidates right now," de Blasio said in a NY1 interview.
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While calling Biden "a great human being" who has "done extraordinary things for this nation," the mayor said, "I don't think we need additional candidates."
De Blasio has not made an endorsement, though he has increasingly praised policy stands taken by front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state.
Biden bared his own uncertainties about running Thursday night on CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
"I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and two, they can look at folks out there and say 'I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion,' " the vice president said.
"And I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there," added Biden, who choked up several times when discussing the May death of his son Beau.
Earlier, Biden appeared at events to champion low-wage workers and the cause of victims of sexual violence.
Cuomo, an early endorser of Clinton, had only warm words for Biden at a joint appearance to promote a call to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour. He called Biden a "hero" to and "champion" of the working class, who served as sort of "New York Santa Claus," bringing the state good news such as the $4 billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport.
Biden touted the Obama administration's push to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 from $7.25. "Guess what happens when we treat people decently? Everything goes up," he said.
Biden alluded to the 16 months left in his term alongside President Barack Obama. Fighting stagnant wages to fortify the country's economic resurgence, he said, is "the last piece that Barack and I are determined to put in place before we leave."
Earlier, Biden joined U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to announce nearly $80 million in local and federal grants to reduce the national backlog of untested rape kits. New York City cleared its backlog in 2003.
With Matthew Chayes