Former President Obama attempted to talk his Vice President Joseph R. Biden out of entering the 2020 Democratic presidential race, according to a new report.
The New York Times reported Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden had at least six conversations leading up to Mr. Biden deciding to run, which Mr. Obama shared hesitancy toward.
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Biden, according to someone with knowledge of the conversation.
Mr. Biden — who has said several times he believes he could have beaten President Trump in 2016 — responded he couldn’t miss the chance to challenge Mr. Trump a second time.
While the former president has publicly said he would not endorse a candidate, Mr. Obama has reportedly taken an active role in Mr. Biden’s election.
Mr. Obama reportedly requested a briefing of the campaign before Mr. Biden entered in March and the two reportedly had lunch where Mr. Obama advised Mr. Biden to bring younger advisers into the fold.
“He has communicated his frustration that Mr. Biden’s closest advisers are too old and out of touch with the current political climate — urging him to include more younger aides,” the Times wrote, according to three Democratic inside sources.
Mr. Obama allegedly voiced concerns in March that Mr. Biden would ‘embarrass himself’ or ‘damage his legacy’ during his election bid.