WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden left open the possibility on Sunday that he might run for the White House in 2016.

Biden told CNN that his focus is on helping President Barack Obama get re-elected in 2012 but when pressed on the possibility of his own future run, he replied, "I'm not closing anything."

Biden, 68, also said he was in the best shape of his life and was enjoying being in the thick of politics and government.

Biden, who ran for president twice before being chosen by Obama in 2008 as his running mate, is expected to be a key player in the president's re-election effort next year.

Biden is known as a people person and Obama's political advisers see him as someone who will be particularly effective with working-class voters in key East Coast battleground states like Pennsylvania and with older voters in states like Florida.

He also has a tendency to make verbal gaffes and stirred controversy last week when he warned that the number of rapes and murders in U.S. cities would climb if states were forced by budget cuts to lay off police officers.

Critics questioned the statistics behind his comment.