Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden officially announced Thursday he would be jumping into the race for president in 2020.
“The core values of this nation … our standing in the world … our very democracy … everything that has made America — America — is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” the Delaware Democrat tweeted.
With the tweet, he posted a video centered around the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests in August 2017, against removing a Confederate statute, that left three people dead. The rally had attracted neo-Nazis, Klansmen and other white supremacists. They were met with counterprotesters.
He criticized President Trump’s response at the time to the riots, where the president said there were “very fine people on both sides.”
“With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those who had the courage to stand against it, and in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike anything I had seen in this lifetime,” Mr. Biden said.
“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” he added.
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“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an abhorrent moment in time, but if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. Who we are. and I cannot standby and watch that happen,” Mr. Biden said.
“Everything that has made America, America, is at stake,” he continued.
Mr. Biden became the 20th high-profile Democrat to enter the already crowded field to challenge Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.
While the former vice president wasn’t successful in his bids for president in 1988 and 2008, Mr. Biden has consistently been the front-runner in polls, sometimes double digits ahead of second-place Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.
The GOP responded to Mr. Biden’s candidacy with a statement saying the former vice president’s “presidential announcement has been in the making for years, but this one will falter like his previous attempts.”
Mr. Biden’s campaign announced in a statement that he will kick off his first campaign event in Pittsburgh on Monday, focusing on “rebuilding the middle class.” He will then tour early primary states Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Nevada and California.