POSTED: Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 5:56pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 7, 2014 - 2:31pm
(CNN) — If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in 2016, her White House bid would clear the Democratic primary field, some pundits argue, making it difficult for any other candidates to stand a chance.
But former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson doubts that would be the case and argued that Vice President Joe Biden, another potential contender, would not defer to Clinton.
"I think he would run. Hillary Clinton would be formidable, no question about it. But I've known Biden over the years. He is somebody who's always wanted to be present," Richardson, a Democrat who ran for president in 2008, said on ABC's "This Week."
Richardson pointed to Biden's recent stops, which include a speaking engagement Friday night in South Carolina, the first-in-the-South primary state.
"I think there could be a face-off, but obviously Secretary Clinton is a formidable candidate who not only is appealing to the Democratic base but is appealing to a Republican base who acknowledges the great work she did as secretary of state," Richardson said.
Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a conservative Republican who resigned from the Senate to lead The Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank, disagreed that Clinton would receive support from many Republicans.
"She represents a third term of continuing in the same direction," he said on the same program. "I think Republicans don't need to focus on who's running right now, but what are the ideas that can inspire the American people."
Two national polls last week indicated Clinton would have a strong lead in the Democratic primary -- more than 60% - with Biden coming in at a distant second at around 12% to 13%. One of the polls, a Quinnipiac University poll, surveyed the field without Clinton in the picture. In such a scenario, Biden jumps up to 45%, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 15%.
Democratic strategist James Carville, who recently signed on to help a pro-Clinton super PAC, said he's "not seen one Democrat in the country that does not want her to run."
As for the Republican primary, Carville threw out a relatively new name in national politics: Sen. Ted Cruz, a freshman from Texas who seems to have presidential aspirations. The conservative Republican gave a speech less than 2 miles from Biden's appearance Friday night in South Carolina, stoking further 2016 speculation.
"This guy is something," Carville said. "I don't agree with him; I think he's out there. But I'm telling you, he's more talented than all of these other guys."