Joe Biden officially entered the 2020 presidential campaign, throwing his hat into the ring after months of speculation, NBC News is reporting. The former vice president announced his candidacy with a video highlighting one of the darker moments of Donald Trump’s presidency, and telling viewers that another Trump term could rip apart the very fabric of the nation.
In the YouTube video, Biden opens by discussing the events of Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, where a white supremacist rally ended with a man driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman. Following the violence, Donald Trump said that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
“In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d seen in my lifetime,” Biden said.
Biden then warns in the video that if the Trump administration lasts eight years — that is, two full terms — it could “fundamentally alter the character of this nation.” He vowed not to stand by and watch that happen.
The video is then followed by images of Martin Luther King Jr. and other images of the Civil Rights Era, as Biden warns that “everything that has made America, America” is at stake. That’s why, he says, he’s running for president.
With his announcement, Biden puts to rest months of speculation as to whether or not he would run for president.
For nearly a year, Biden has deflected questions about whether or not he would run with vague non-answers, oblique and/or sometimes broad hints, and even a verbal flub or two in which he seemed to confirm that he was running before immediately correcting himself.
Biden is everything Trump”s not. He knows policy. He’s a uniter. He calls for our better angels. He’s empathetic, draws on his own grief to console and encourage others through theirs. He laughs easily. He’s decent. Gold-leaf and wealth do not define him. https://t.co/hEiggMoEQO— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) April 25, 2019
With his announcement, Biden enters an increasingly crowded field of potential candidates for the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination. As of this writing, as CNBC reports, two dozen Democrats have either officially announced that they are running for president, or that they have formed exploratory committees.
Despite his competition, Biden was the front-runner among Democrats in polling even before he announced his candidacy. As Morning Consult reports, Biden leads all Democratic contenders, with 30 percent of likely Democrat voters saying they’ll pull his lever in the primary in their state. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is in second place at 24 percent, while South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in a distant third, at 9 percent.
Biden’s decision to run for president came shortly after he faced some allegations of impropriety. According to The Guardian, some women have come forward to claim that Biden has touched them inappropriately and made them uncomfortable. Biden, for his part, has said that moving forward, he’ll try to be more respectful of personal space.