Politics Joe Biden made a stunning admission about Hillary Clinton's 2016 election bid

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Biden was among an all-star roster of Democratic Party surrogates who backed Clinton's campaign in a brutal election against Donald Trump last year.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden. play

Former US Vice President Joe Biden.

(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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Former Vice President Joe Biden mused about the potential for a future White House run and reflected on the 2016 presidential race during an appearance at the SALT conference in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Speaking about Hillary Clinton's surprise November defeat to Donald Trump, Biden said: "I never thought she was a great candidate. I thought I was a great candidate."

It was an unexpected admission from Biden, whose party brought out an all-star roster to rally support for Clinton in the final days of a brutal campaign last year. Clinton's bid for the White House has been criticized for its heavy focus on casting Trump as unfit for office rather than on making strong arguments for her candidacy.

Clinton was also stymied by a protracted FBI investigation into her use of a private email server, which gave Trump and his supporters easy rhetorical ammunition right up to Election Day. Clinton has blamed, among others, James Comey's handling of the investigation while FBI director for her defeat.

Despite that, Biden conceded in his remarks Thursday that "Hillary would have been a good president."

The former vice president offered commentary on President Barack Obama's two terms in office that also appeared to serve as an undercover critique of the current administration. Biden noted that Obama served eight years in office "without a single scandal ... not one." The audience erupted in applause.

Biden called Obama "absolutely, totally competent" and said he took his job "extremely seriously," but he acknowledged the former president had made some mistakes.

Biden, who was seen as a strong potential opponent to Trump in 2016, said of a possible 2020 run: "Could I? Yes. Would I? Probably not."