Former President Barack Obama formally endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president in a video Tuesday morning, stating: “I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a President right now.”
Obama, speaking from his home, argued in the announcement that Biden is best equipped to handle the Chinese coronavirus crisis and economic fallout as president.
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes or our workplaces or our neighborhoods or houses of worship, it also has to be reflected in our national government,” Obama stated. “The kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience, honesty and humility, empathy and grace. That kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols and legislatures, it belongs in the White House, and that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States.”
The former president continued: “Our country’s future hangs on this election. And it won’t be easy. The other side has a massive war chest. The other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth. On the other hand, pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise and spin to remind us of what is real, and what is important. This crisis has reminded us that government matters. It’s reminded us that good government matters. That facts and science matter. That the rule of law matters. That having leaders who are informed, and honest, and seek to bring people together rather than drive them apart – those kind of leaders matter.”
In a tweet, an appreciative Biden replied to Obama’s endorsement, writing it, “means the world to Jill and me.”
“We’re going to build on the progress we made together, and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side,” the former vice president vowed.
Barack — This endorsement means the world to Jill and me. We’re going to build on the progress we made together, and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side. https://t.co/0mAjPZeYmd
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 14, 2020
Obama also praised Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who endorsed Biden the day before, calling him an “American original” who has “devoted his life to giving voice to working people’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations.”
“He and I haven’t always agreed on everything, but we’ve always shared a conviction that we have to make America a fairer, more just, more equitable society,” Obama said. “We both know that nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change. And the ideas he’s championed; the energy and enthusiasm he inspired, especially in young people, will be critical in moving America in a direction of progress and hope.”
Obama infamously opted against endorsing Biden at the start of his campaign, something the former vice president has said was done at his request.
“I asked President Obama not to endorse,” Biden claimed upon kicking off his campaign last April. “Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits.”
However, a New York Times report reveals Obama’s decision may have been rooted in deep concerns about his former vice president’s chances of defeating President Donald Trump.
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Obama told the 76-year-old before he jumped into the crowded Democrat primary field, reported the Times. The Times also revealed an anxious Obama huddled with Biden advisers last spring to ensure that the former vice president does not “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy.”