Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Thursday that he will seek the Democratic nomination in the 2020 elections.
“The core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America – America – is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
In his video announcement, Biden recalled the 2017 white supremacist march through Charlottesville, Va. and President Trump’s comment that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
“Very fine people on both sides?” Biden asked. “With those words, the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”
“At that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,” Biden said.
When asked why President Obama has not yet endorsed him, Biden responded that he asked Obama not to endorse any candidate in the primary. “Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits,” Biden said.
While not an official endorsement, Obama did take time to praise his former Vice President. Spokeswoman Katie Hill issued a statement saying, “President Obama has long said that selecting Je Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. He relied on the Vice President’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today.”
Biden joins 20 other Democrats in seeking the nomination but is already being hailed as the frontrunner. One poll has him already leading against President Trump in a hypothetical match-up, 42 percent to 34 percent. He’s popular with both women and among Millenials when compared to Trump.
“If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are – and I cannot stand by and watch that happen,” Biden said in his announcement.
“America is an idea. An idea that is stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, more powerful than any dictator or tyrant. It gives hope to the most desperate people on Earth. It guarantees that everyone is treated with dignity. And gives hate no safe harbor. It instills in every person in this country the belief that no matter where you start in life, there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you work at it. That’s what we believe. And above all else, that’s what’s at stake in this election.
“We can’t forget what happened in Charlottesville. Even more important, we have to remember who we are. This is America.”