Joe Biden Says He Regrets Not Being President, Fueling 2020 Speculation

Joe Biden should run on this simple message: "I will make America normal again—and leave after one term." Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden regrets that he is not sitting in the Oval Office, saying he believes he would have been the "most qualified" candidate in the 2016 race — if he had run.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that will air in full on Sunday, Biden admitted remorse in not holding the nation's highest office and said he believes the country is brimming with untapped potential. The interview comes as Biden continues to publicly ponder whether he'll jump into the 2020 race.

"I have a regret that I am not president because I think there's so much opportunity," Biden told Oprah. "I think America is so incredibly well-positioned."

The 74-year-old said avoiding the 2016 race was "the right decision for my family" after his 46-year-old son Beau died of brain cancer in May 2015. Biden is expected to talk more about his late son in his upcoming book, "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose," which will be released Nov. 14.

"No woman or man should announce they are running for president unless they can answer two questions: One, do they believe they are the most qualified person for that moment? I believed I was — but was I prepared to give my whole heart, my whole soul, and all my intention to the endeavor? And I knew I wasn't," Biden said.

"I have a regret that I am not President..." Former VP Joe Biden opens up in revealing new interview with @Oprah:

— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 9, 2017

When Oprah asked Biden — a two-term vice president and Delaware's longest-serving U.S. senator — about holding power and not abusing it, he said people who abuse power are "seduced by the notion that they are so self-important, that they really matter, when in fact it is not usually the case."

Biden has taken an active role in criticizing President Donald Trump and mobilizing Democratic candidates. He said on Wednesday that Trump's supporters came out from "under rocks" with a "phony nationalism" that is "undermining the social fabric of the nation." The comment came at an Axios event in Philadelphia where Biden was asked for his "blunt take" on Trump, and he promptly linked the president's election to the emergence of violent white nationalism.

Biden told Oprah that good leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses, adding that "the people who don't do that are the people who aren't self-aware enough to know. Most of the time that abuse ends up in their downfall as well."

Speculation has run through this year that Biden will run in 2020, and the former veep has done little to quiet those talks. Speaking in Salt Lake City earlier this week, he admitted he still hasn't made up his mind.

"Yes, I think I'm qualified, but that doesn't mean I should be president or that I will run for president. The honest to God answer is that I don't know," he said.