Biden phones major labor leader, drops another 2016 hint

Vice President Joe Biden said he is strongly considering a run for president during a phone conversation Friday with a major union leader, several news organizations reported, citing an unidentified source familiar with the discussion.

Biden reportedly spoke with Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, a union that claims to represent more than 300,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics.

The call is the latest maneuver in Biden's speculated campaign behind-closed-doors to gauge support for a White House run in 2016. He has repeatedly flirted with the idea in several public appearances, but has yet to officially announce.

Unions would be a major factor in his efforts, and there have been several signs the vice president is trying to court those groups that have not already pledged their support to other candidates.

On Labor Day, Biden appeared in a Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. The AFL-CIO represents more than 12 million working men and women, encompassing 56 unions. Though Trumka praised Biden as a "good friend and a great champion of working people," he said the AFL-CIO had still not made its decision on who to endorse.