WASHINGTON (AP) — You can take Joe Biden out of the presidential campaign, but you can't take the campaign out of Joe Biden.
Three months after bowing out of the 2016 competition, the vice president has a few second thoughts about his decision.
"I regret it every day," Biden said Wednesday.
Still, he said he made the right call for his family and for himself. And he pledged to stay "deeply involved" in the race to replace President Barack Obama.
"We've got two good candidates," Biden said, praising Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for engaging in a "robust debate" devoid of personal attacks. He glossed over the third candidate running for the Democratic nomination, Martin O'Malley, whose campaign has struggled to gain traction.
The vice president's musings about the campaign he almost waged came in an interview with WVIT, one of five interviews Biden conducted to promote Obama's executive actions on gun control. He told the Connecticut television station he was haunted by the thought of the 20 first-graders gunned down in Newtown — "those beautiful little babies in classrooms like dolls, discarded."
Turning to the Republican presidential primary, Biden said it had not been very illuminating so far. He singled out Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for comments they've made on the campaign trail.
"I promise you, I've spoken to three of the presidential potential nominees on the Republican side who tell me, 'Joe, it's crazy,'" Biden said. "It's absolutely crazy."
Biden spent months last year immersed in intensive deliberations with his political advisers and his family about whether to run for president a third time. Weighing heavily on his decision was his 46-year-old son Beau Biden's death from brain cancer in May. In October, Biden announced that time had run out and that he wouldn't run.
Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP