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Biden pitches White House idea to pay for college amid campaign speculation

By Doug G. Ware
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Biden pitches White House idea to pay for college amid campaign speculation
United States Vice President Joe Biden delivered remarks on the importance of helping Americans go to college during a presentation at the Science Center at Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida, September 2, 2015. Vice President Biden also discussed the role between community colleges and employers in helping students develop skills needed to succeed in todays workforce. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Vice President Joe Biden traveled to South Florida Wednesday to address an education idea devised by the Obama administration, which would pay for two years of junior college for every American who wants to attend.

Biden arrived Wednesday afternoon to speak at the North Campus of Miami-Dade College, and later with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., about a foreign relations matter.

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The vice president, who delivered the 2014 commencement address at the campus, said every American -- not just the wealthy -- should have the opportunity to better themselves through higher education.

"I doubt there were many of you who could sit down and write a check for $6,000 in tuition without worrying about it," Biden told about 150 students at the college's science complex.

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Biden spent about a half-hour emphasizing the role community colleges play in allowing young Americans to obtain well-paying jobs. He also touted President Barack Obama's plan to pay for the first two years of junior college.

While the vice president's trip focused on education, many were watching to see if he might give any indication that he will run for president next year. Biden, who has run twice previously, has yet to decide whether to launch a 2016 bid.

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"We are dealing at home with ... whether or not there is the emotional fuel at this time to run," Biden told members of the Democratic National Committee during a conference call last week. "I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul -- and right now, both are pretty well banged up."

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"People who aren't willing to risk failure never succeed," Biden said during his address, prompting some to wonder whether that might have been a hint that he will run.

After his visit to the college campus, Biden met with Wasserman Schultz to discuss the recent nuclear deal with Iran and was scheduled to attend a fundraiser for Senate Democrats in Coconut Grove.

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