Biden: ‘To the best of my knowledge’ Obama did not tell Paterson to step out

Vice President Joe Biden, speaking on a new Sunday morning show, said that "to the best of my knowledge" President Barack Obama did not ask the struggling New York Gov. David Paterson (D) to not seek re-election.

It was reported this week that the president sent a message to the governor, who faces an uphill re-election battle, to step out of the race. The White House and Paterson have both stayed mum on the the exact contents of the message, but both have said the administration did not explicitly ask Paterson to vacate the campaign.

"No one is demanding, to the best of my knowledge, that the governor step down," Biden told TV One’s Roland Martin. "If it can be shown that he can win, he should stay in the race."

The ex-senator at one point stammered while refuting the reports, saying, "I don’t know that, I don’t doubt that, I don’t know that. I give my word I don’t know that."

Biden frequently repeated the phrase "to the best of my knowledge" when denying the White House specifically asked Paterson to bow out.

The Vice President asserted it was crucial for the Democratic Party to maintain control of the Empire State’s governorship.

"I have never asked him [to step aside], but there’s a reality that I think the governor has to decide upon and the Democratic Party has to decide upon: how are we going to win?"

"It’s very important that we maintain control of New York," he added.

Paterson, appearing on "Meet the Press" today, reiterated he would remain in the race.

Biden appeared on "Washington Watch," a new show on TV One, a network aimed at a black audience. The Paterson issue has resonance in the black community since Obama reportedly asked Paterson, another black Democrat, to step out of the race.

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