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Biden not interested in Clinton's VP, citing 'dominant' Bill

  • Story Highlights
  • Sen. Joe Biden says Hillary Clinton's vice president would be overshadowed
  • Delaware Democrat calls former President Clinton a "dominant" force
  • Presidential hopeful confident he will be in top three in Iowa caucuses
  • Biden says Pakistan's president should call for elections in 60 days
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DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden on Sunday ruled out the vice presidential slot altogether if Sen. Hillary Clinton is his party's nominee, saying her husband would overshadow the position.

"If I don't win the nomination, the likely nominee is going to be Hillary," Biden, D-Delaware, told CNN, "and I love Bill Clinton, but can you imagine being vice president?"

The former president "is such a dominant and powerful and positive force that I think the question is if you're going to stay in public life do you want to be a contributor ... I'm not looking for a ceremonial post," he said.

Biden said he would like to remain chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if he does not win the Democratic nomination, saying that position would allow him to make "a much greater contributor to the security of the country."

Biden expressed confidence that he would be one of the top three finishers in the Iowa caucus in January. Biden said he believes the strong finish in Iowa will propel him to his party's nomination.

"I believe I'm going to do very well here," the Delaware senator told Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley during an interview on the CNN Election Express. "If I end up one, two or three, then I believe I'm the nominee because all of a sudden the national press will have to cover me."

Political observers usually consider Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards as the top three candidates competing to win the Iowa caucus.

A poll conducted of potential Iowa caucus voters by American Research Group on October 26-29 has Clinton supported by 32 percent of the potential caucus participants, Obama by 22 percent and Edwards by 15 percent. Biden was the top pick of 5 percent of the caucus attendee interviews.

The ARG poll involved interviews with 600 likely Democratic caucus voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Biden currently draws about 1 percent in most national polls.

Biden pointed to his years of foreign policy experience and relationships at home and abroad that make him the most qualified of the crowded Democratic field.

"This is not a time for on-the-job training and no matter how smart the next president is, you know and I know that they don't make really difficult decisions, no matter how bright their advisers are, unless they feel it in their gut. These are good decent people, these Democrats. It's going to take them awhile to get their footing; we don't have a whole long time," Biden said.

When pressed about who among his candidate colleagues might need to learn as they go, Biden replied: "I'm talking about the entire field ... the exception might be Chris Dodd and I would've thought Bill Richardson but some of the things Bill's saying these days, I find it confuses me whether or not he has a sense of a proportion about our place in the world."

Biden also told CNN on Sunday he is not surprised by the current instability in Pakistan, and said that if he were president he would be working to ensure elections took place there in the coming weeks. Video Watch Biden discuss what he would do about Pakistan if he were president »

The "way out for [Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf and in turn, for us and Pakistan, is this guarantee, making it known now that the election will go off within 60 days and there will be a fair arbiter of whether or not it was conducted fairly," Biden said.

Biden spoke to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto while campaigning in Iowa on Sunday and told voters he was trying to connect with Musharraf to talk about the political crisis in Pakistan.


The Senate Foreign Relations committee chief agreed with the Bush administration's decision to review U.S. aid to Pakistan and told CNN he thinks the war in Iraq has contributed to Musharraf's present situation.

"If you're Musharraf and you see the last two years, our entire attention being diverted to Iraq, us not being in a position where we look like we're in it to stay in Afghanistan, then you start cutting your own deals. I think that's what he's done," Biden said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Candy Crowley and Sasha Johnson contributed to this report.

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