Former Vice President Joe Biden claims that he doesn’t need former President Barack Obama’s endorsement to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, in large part because Black people support him already, Politico.com reports.
Biden, currently in rural Iowa on his “No Malarkey” tour, also doubled down on his claim that he told Obama not to endorse him back in October, stating that even if the field were down to three, he doesn’t need the presidential seal of approval “because everyone knows I’m close with him.”
Biden, who has managed to stay somewhat removed from the media frenzy surrounding the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, despite his son Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine being at the center of it, says that his relationships with Black communities made him a pinch hitter for Obama.
“I was the one who was sent in,” he said. “And the reason was, because all the polling and data showed that I had those relationships with the base of the Democratic Party as well as African Americans. And so I did as many African Americans events as Barack did.”
Biden also said that the Democratic field is swinging back to the center. Responding to whether or not he “unintentionally set the stage” for Pete Buttigieg—who was clearly propelled to a higher level of visibility when Democrats began having severe doubts about Biden’s viability, he said, “Set it up? He stole it! Set it up?”
Biden continued, saying that the moderate plan is the “Biden plan.”
The former Vice President may have a reason to be so self-assured on the campaign trail. According to a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll released exclusively to the Hill, 29% of respondents said they would most likely vote for Biden in a Democratic primary; 16% said they would back Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren rounded out the top three spots with 13% support.
“Biden has every reason to be confident about his positioning. He’s been durable and somewhat Teflon,” Andrew Gillum told Politico. “Probably feels even better with Harris out. Now the Veepstakes can begin.”