In the wake of a Democratic presidential debate performance for which he was criticized by many in the media for a lackluster performance, former Vice President Joe Biden sat down with CNN’s Don Lemon and displayed no lack of confidence on the topic of how he might hold up in the face of several new Democratic presidential challengers.
According to The Hill, Biden was asked how he felt about the prospect of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg entering the race based on the opinion that perhaps Biden wasn’t as strong of a candidate as he was earlier in the campaign season.
“Come on, come on… I welcome the competition,” Biden responded, with a slight chuckle and while motioning with his hands in a “bring it on” fashion.
Lemon then quoted someone as saying they were concerned that Biden could “carry this through to the finish line,” which elicited a “watch me, watch me,” response from the former vice president.
Bloomberg hasn’t officially entered the 2020 presidential race. However, the billionaire businessman made headlines recently when he filed paperwork to join the Alabama Democratic primary for 2020, which was seen by many as a precursor for a 2020 White House run.
Biden was also asked about another challenger who has made his intentions to run in 2020 official — former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Lemon asked Biden about his thoughts on Patrick’s late entry into the race, which Biden brushed off and even pointed a recent embarrassment that the new candidate suffered at one of his first campaign events — one that had to be canceled because only a few people showed up.
“I like Deval, I really do, he’s a good guy and he’s a solid guy, but I think this is about deciding who is ready on day one to unite this country and demonstrate that they could, and number two, who in fact can be ready on day one and be commander in chief,” Biden said.
Earlier this month, Biden dismissed any potential competition from Bloomberg after rumors swirled that the former mayor was close to jumping in the race, as reported by The Inquisitr.
“In terms of he’s running because of me, the last polls I looked at, I’m pretty far ahead,” Biden said at the time, before pointing out his recent victories against President Donald Trump in a number of hypothetical match-up polls and his overall performance in the polls versus his top Democratic opponents.
One of Bloomberg’s advisers suggested at the time that the former mayor was “concerned” about many of the current candidates veering too far left and alienating moderate and independent voters, citing the need for a strong centrist candidate to take on Trump in 2020.