WASHINGTON (AP) — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the Democratic presidential campaign is "still wide open" and Vice President Joe Biden has time to join the field.
Trumka, who met privately last week with Biden, said Tuesday at a breakfast with reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor that he does not know whether Biden will enter the race but appeared to welcome an expanded slate of Democratic candidates.
"The field is still wide open. There's still a lot of time," said Trumka, who will see Biden at Labor Day events in Pittsburgh on Monday. The labor leader said Biden has "a lot on his shoulders, I'd say," but "he has to decide whether he's got the full focus ... he and his family and I don't know the answer to that. Only he knows the answer to that. He would be a good candidate. He would be a good president."
Trumka said Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton would "make a great president" but needs "to really figure out how to energize workers." He predicted, however, that she could "catch fire, too."
Trumka also praised her main Democratic rival, independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. "I think he's connecting. He has a very unique and genuine way of talking about the most pressing issues in politics and that's inequality in America," he said.
The union leader said it was "conceivable" that the federation of the nation's largest labor organizations could make an endorsement by the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary in February but cautioned, "I would say it is not likely to happen."
Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kthomasdc