Joe Biden Encourages Mitt Romney to Run For Senate, Criticizes Hillary Clinton and Considers Running for President in 2020

The former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, has received unlikely support from his former political rival, Joe Biden. Speaking with Romney at the Republican's E2 Summit on American leadership, Biden said Romney was a man of integrity. "By the way, you should run for Senate," he added. To applause from delegates, Romney merely smiled.

Biden's throwaway remark during the Utah discussion was not that outlandish, Politico reports. Rumors are growing that Romney could run for the seat of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch should he decide not to seek re-election in the 2018 mid-terms. Romney, who met with 83-year-old Hatch earlier this year, has spoken to Mitch McConnell, the senate majority leader, about running.

The former vice-president's endorsement marks a change in his relationship with Romney. During the 2012 presidential election, they squared off against each other with Biden standing as Barack Obama's running mate, and Romney attempting to win the presidency.

During their conversation, Biden also had some choice words to say about the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. According to Politico, he told the audience that he knew she would lose key battleground states ahead of the November 8 election. His criticism follows remarks he made in Las Vegas last month that he never thought Clinton "was a great candidate."

Biden's quips and digs may not just be the words of a retired political heavyweight. On May 31, he launched his own political action committee, American Possibilities, allowing him to raise money for Democrats running for office. He has also made several public appearances since the 2016 election and been critical of U.S. President Donald Trump.

During the presidential race, many thought that Biden would try to be the Democrats' chosen candidate. He ultimately decided not to run, citing the 2015 death of his son Beau as leaving him too heartbroken to devote the necessary time and energy into running.

Speaking in March, Biden said he regrets not running for the presidency and that he thinks he could have run. When asked if he would run for president in 2020, Biden said: "I'm not committing not to run. I'm not committed to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening."