Biden served as former President Barack Obama’s right-hand man for two terms and enters a crowded field of Democratic candidates as the immediate frontrunner
Former Vice President Joe Biden will challenge Donald Trump for the presidency.
The longtime senator from Delaware-turned-presidential candidate-turned-running mate and vice president announced his campaign early Thursday morning with a video message.
“The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy…everything that has made America — America –is at stake,” the text alongside the video said. “That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
Biden, 76, served as former President Barack Obama‘s right-hand man for two terms and enters a crowded field of Democratic candidates as the immediate frontrunner in name recognition and most polling, even if his age and historically more moderate voting record put him at odds with the party’s progressive wing. (As with any politician with so many years of service, Biden must contend with a long record of bills, votes and positions; some of which have evolved.)
In his 2017 memoir, Promise Me, Dad, Biden wrote that he was prevented from challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination because his oldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer.
Since then, Biden has not hidden his weighing of a 2020 bid, but his candidacy will not be without controversy.
Earlier this year multiple women came forward to say his behavior around them — such as touching their back or kissing their forehead without asking — was physically invasive and made them uncomfortable.
Speaking with the Washington Post, one woman said, “I do not consider my experience to have been sexual assault or harassment.” Still, she said, “It was the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace.”
Biden subsequently released a video acknowledging the discomfort he caused.
“Today, I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement I’ve made to women and some men that have made them uncomfortable,” he said.