Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama declined to comment Friday on the prospect of Vice President Joe Biden seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, instead praising the Democratic field at large.
Obama ducks on Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton
"I'm not going to comment on what Joe's doing or not doing. I think you can direct those questions to my very able vice president," Obama said at a White House press conference.
Aides say Biden is close to making a decision after months of mulling over a presidential bid. An email to Biden alumni from longtime adviser and friend Ted Kaufman sent Thursday evening laid out the groundwork for a possible run.
Obama got some laughs when he said he was a little distracted during this week's Democratic debate in Las Vegas.
"The Democratic debate was taking place at the same time as some ball games, so there was a little bit of clicking back and forth," he said.
However, he quickly moved back to praising the Democrats on stage Tuesday night.
"We very much share a vision of an economy that works for everybody and effective pursuit of American national security through all the tools that are available to us," he said. "And I was very impressed with all of them and I know them personally and they are good people. Beyond that, I think it's up to the American people to decide."
Obama also sidestepped a question about Hillary Clinton's decision to oppose his signature Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and cautioned that he would not weigh in on "every utterance" from people looking to succeed him in the White House.
"I would have you direct the question to her," Obama said. "I probably won't be commenting on every single utterance that the candidates make. I think it's natural and proper for candidates to run on their own vision and their own platform."