US election 2016: Biden rules out secretary of state job

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AP

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Mr Biden pondered a run at the presidency himself last year

Vice-President Joe Biden has said he is not interested in becoming secretary of state if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

“I’ll do anything I can if Hillary’s elected to help her, but I don’t want to remain in the administration,” he told a Minnesota TV station.

Politico reported Mr Biden was “at the top of the internal short list” should the Clinton team win the White House.

With 11 days to go, she leads Republican Donald Trump in the polls.

Mr Biden told KBJR that Mrs Clinton had not approached him about a potential role in any administration she may lead.

“I have no intention of staying involved. I have a lot of things to do, but I’ll help her if I can in any way I can,” he said.

Mr Biden, 73, was a senator for 36 years and chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He has the foreign affairs pedigree for secretary of state, which is America’s top diplomat, despite a reputation for being gaffe-prone.

Mr Biden pondered a run at the presidency himself last year but said the recent death of his son Beau meant he would not have been able to focus fully on a campaign.

The BBC’s Anthony Zucker in Washington says that it would be unusual for a vice-president to hop down a rung in the ladder to secretary of state, and Mr Biden may follow through on his promise to fade from the stage, perhaps to write a book.

Recently he has been very critical of Mr Trump for being too close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He also said he wished he was still at high school so he could take the billionaire “behind the gym” to fight him.

The vice-president has a close relationship with the president despite raising eyebrows early on by referring to the then-Senator Obama as “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean”.

In the summer, he went to Latvia and assured the Baltic states that the US would defend Nato countries against possible Russian aggression.

What happens next?

  • Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump will spend the remaining days before the election criss-crossing the country in their bid to persuade undecided voters. Expect to see lots of appearances in battleground states such as Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania
  • Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday 8 November to decide who becomes the 45th president of the US
  • The new president will be inaugurated on 20 January 2017

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US election 2016: Biden rules out secretary of state job

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