Obama’s harsh assessment of Joe Biden

Barack Obama voiced concerns about Joe Biden's presidential candidacy and warned allies not to underestimate his ability to "f**k things up", according to reports.

The former Vice President is set to be inaugurated in January after defeating Donald Trump in last month's election.

Mr Obama has frequently said that choosing Mr Biden as his running mate back in 2008 was the "best decision he ever made", but is also said to have favoured Hillary Clinton as his successor ahead of the 2016 election campaign.



Numerous other figures supportive of the Democratic Party also expressed scepticism about a Biden run this time round, owing to his age and his propensity for public gaffes.

Mr Biden himself has said he was unsure whether to launch a bid, but that he decided to after President Trump's alleged failure to fully condemn attendees of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in summer 2017.

Speaking to Politico about Mr Obama's concerns, one aide recalled him saying, "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to f**k things up."

Mr Obama also lamented his own lack of understanding about many of the trends within the current Democratic Party electorate.

He then reportedly added, "And you know who really doesn't have it? Joe Biden."

Former senior aides to Mr Obama - including former chief strategist David Axelrod and the now-hosts of the podcast Pod Save America - similarly disparaged Mr Biden's chances at points throughout the campaign.




But many of Mr Biden's allies are also reported to have pushed back on the idea that other, younger candidates would have been more suitable, with one saying he "still taps into something in the American electorate".

Mr Biden's campaign played heavily on his everyman persona and his willingness to reach across the aisle instead of being hamstrung by party political concerns.

"I don't think he really cares about what a 30-something Pod Save America host thinks about him, and that honestly might be why he's the nominee," one former aide said.

It comes after the release of Mr Obama's much-awaited memoir of his time, A Promised Land, which contained his candid views of a number of other world leaders.

Writing of former British prime minister David Cameron, Mr Obama says he "liked him personally, even when we butted heads" but added that Mr Cameron had "the easy confidence of someone who'd never been pressed too hard by life".

He also criticised Mr Cameron's decision to pursue austerity following the financial crash.

"Cameron hewed closely to free-market orthodoxy, having promised voters that his platform of deficit reduction and cuts to government services ... would usher in a new era of British competitiveness," he wrote.

"Instead, predictably, the British economy would fall deeper into a recession."

Mr Obama also compared Russian president Vladimir Putin to the political barons he had encountered while working as a community organiser in Chicago.

He said they were the kind of men who "viewed patronage, bribery, shakedowns, fraud, and occasional violence as legitimate tools of the trade".

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Obama's harsh assessment of Joe Biden