Vice President Joe Biden said this morning that before President Obama took the dais to deliver the State of the Union address, he was talking with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “about the prospects of the House moving on immigration.”
“Last year, the president asked for a move on immigration and in fact, as everybody said, no, it’s dead on arrival. This year it looks like we may get something done,” Biden said on CBS.
“So the president will take action where, in fact, he thinks it will spur action in the states and federally and — and with the Congress or where we have to — where we can make some progress,” the vice president added. “We’re just not gonna sit around and wait for the Congress if they choose not to act.”
Biden said he’s not necessarily willing to cut a deal with the GOP that grants legal status to illegal immigrants but not citizenship.
“We still think by far and away the preferable route to go is citizenship. We don’t want two-tier people in America. Those who are legal but not citizens, and citizens,” he said.
And so, what we are saying is, and I’ve said to John last night, pass something. If that’s what you’re gonna pass, pass it… let the Congress get to conference and let the Congress battle it out and decide what the route is. And then we’ll decide whether we think it’s good enough. Citizenship is the pathway.”
Biden said Obama conveyed an “incredibly optimistic” view of America’s promise, particularly in a 21st century economy.
“That’s why the president put me in charge of this new task force that’s gonna gather all these forces, including companies and universities and community colleges to do the things that the American people say — look, every initiative the president puts forward, the polling data you have done and everyone else has done, show the American people agree with us on it,” he said.
On whether he might run for president in 2016, the veep said “Jill and I will make that decision later down the road.”
“It’s too early to do that right now. I’ve got a job to do in the meantime. And if I do the job well and decide to run for president, it will help, if I don’t do the job well, and decide to run for president, it won’t help and if I don’t run for president, it will all be OK,” Biden said.
“…The only reason a man or woman should run for president — I’m sure Hillary views it the exact same way — is if they think they’re better positioned to be able to do what the nation needs at the moment.”