White House downplays Biden focus on Clinton vulnerability

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday downplayed the idea that Vice President Joe Biden might enter the 2016 race solely because frontrunner Hillary Clinton appears to be vulnerable on issues of trust.

Earnest said the existence of a good opening isn't a major factor, and said the possibility of putting your family through the rigors of a campaign is a much bigger factor.

"If you are making your decision about whether or not to get in a race based on your perception of someone else's standing in the race, that is not likely to be a useful strategy," Earnest said, indirectly speaking to scuttlebutt that Biden started looking at the race because of Clinton's perceived weaknesses.

"If the reason you are running is that you perceive that someone else is not doing as well as they should, that is not a particularly effective rationale for voters," Earnest said. "You can't be trying to game the system."

Each candidate must demonstrate his or her own commitment and desire to serve, as well as their vision for the country, Earnest said.

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