In an interview with Mic, Vice President Joe Biden — who pondered his own presidential run — said that he doesn't think Hillary Clinton is "held to a higher standard" because she's a woman.
"No, I don't think she is held to a higher standard," Biden replied to a question from Mic's Antonia Hylton. "And this country's ready for a woman. There's no problem. We're going to be able to elect a woman in this country."
Biden may not see a problem here, but research tells us gender bias works in subtle ways against both women who seek power generally and Hillary Clinton specifically. You also don't need a degree in political science to see that members of the media sometimes talk about Clinton very differently than they do any of her male competitors. This bias is more pernicious in part because it's often unintentional.
The discussion about Clinton came after Biden spoke at length about Donald Trump's negative view of women, and after he pushed back against Hylton's suggestion that it was also sexist for Bernie Sanders to call Clinton unqualified to be president. "That's totally different," Biden said of Sanders's remarks.
Hylton also asked: "Would you like to see us elect a woman in this country?"
"I would like to see a woman elected," Biden said. Biden has championed many women's rights issues, like the Violence Against Women Act, over his career.
It was at this point in the interview when an aide off camera interjected, "That's it." It sounded like Biden's staff was trying to cut the interview short, since his answer could be interpreted as a surprise endorsement for Clinton. A Biden aide later told Politico that this was just about wrapping up the interview at the agreed-upon time rather than stopping the line of questions.
"No, no, no, that's all right," Biden said in the video after the aide interjected. "The president and I are not going to endorse, because we both, when we ran, said, 'Let the party decide.' But gosh almighty, they're both qualified. Hillary's overwhelmingly qualified to be president."