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Joe Biden's South Carolina Visit That Was Totally Not a Campaign Trip

The vice president stops in a state that happens to hold a primary.
U.S. Vice President Joseph "Joe" Biden gestures as he speaks during an interview in Singapore, on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

U.S. Vice President Joseph "Joe" Biden gestures as he speaks during an interview in Singapore, on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

COLUMBIA, S.C.–Vice President Joe Biden has said he'll fish or cut bait on a 2016 White House bid by "the end of the summer." He said this in Iowa, last week–and not long after, he scheduled a trip to South Carolina, which happens to hold the first Southern primary of 2016. Americans were not to read too much into this, as Biden was joining Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on the five-day “Grow America” tour to raise awareness of infrastructure needs.

Biden and Foxx spent the morning at Charleston's Wando Welch Terminal, accompanied by local Republican Representative Mark Sanford. Come afternoon, the vice president and Foxx joined Democratic Representative James Clyburn–who, unlike Sanford, Biden had never campaigned against–at Columbia’s Owen Steel Co. They were joined by Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, whom Biden half-chastised for leaving a safer job.