Former Vice President Joe Biden has finally made up his mind and has decided that he will enter the fray for the 2020 presidential election.
Biden announced his candidacy via a video posted to YouTube on Thursday morning.
“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,” read Biden’s Twitter account along with the video.
In the video announcement, the former Vice President jumped straight into invoking the tragedy surrounding the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., taking an immediate swipe at President Donald Trump for claiming that there were “very fine people on both sides” following the death of Heather Heyer, who was counter-protesting the rally.
“In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,” Biden said, noting that we are in a “battle for the soul of this nation.”
“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time,” he adds. “But 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’s entry into the race makes him the 20th Democrat to do so. As Biden has tentatively explored his running potential, he was faced with accusations of inappropriate behavior surrounding unwanted touching by several women. Biden would go on to acknowledge the discomfort his behavior caused, saying in a video message “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”
However, he is sure to face more questions about his actions toward women, as well as his handling of the 1991 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was accused by Anita Hill of sexual harassment.
Despite the controversy that he has faced even before deciding the race, Biden is seen as a top contender for the Democratic nomination. A fact that is not dismissed by President Trump who took time this morning to welcome “Sleepy Joe” to the race.
“I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign,” the president tweeted. “It will be nasty – you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas.”
Former President Barack Obama, who selected Biden as his running mate in 2008 offered some positive words on Thursday, although he did not endorse his former partner.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made,” Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill said, according to Politico. “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.”