Former Vice President Joe Biden Officially Announces Bid For The White House
DOVER, Del. -- After months of deliberation, former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his decision to run for president for a third time, answering one of the biggest outstanding questions about the makeup of the 2020 race.
The announcement came in a campaign video released Thursday morning.
Biden, 76, enters the crowded Democratic primary field of 20 candidates as the presumptive front-runner sitting atop the most recent polls. But his more than four-decades-long career is set to undergo an unprecedented level of scrutiny as he seeks to win the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump in a general election.
Biden, a centrist Democrat who often touts his relationships with those across the aisle, also will grapple with a Democratic Party that is increasingly feeling a pull from the left with a number of progressive candidates, like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in the 2020 race.
"I'm told I get criticized by the new left," Biden said at an event in Delaware last month. "I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the United ... anybody who would run."
Trump has described a general election match-up against the former vice president as a "dream," while some Republicans cast Biden, who has crafted a political brand aimed at appealing to working-class voters, as the most feared potential Democratic opponent for the President.
In recent weeks, Biden indicated he was close to mounting a 2020 campaign after gaining approval from his family to run for president for a third time. But he also acknowledged there were a number of other hurdles he still needed to work through, including fundraising, digital strategy, assembling a diverse campaign team and ensuring there is an appeal for a Biden run.
"I can die a happy man never having lived in the White House, but what I don't want to do is take people's time, effort and commitment without there being a clear shot that I could be the nominee," Biden said in late February. "It is something that I have to make sure I could run a first-rate effort to do this and make clear where I think the country should go and how to get there."
But it appears those concerns were assuaged. As they awaited a decision, Biden's political team has worked quietly for months to lay the preliminary groundwork for a campaign, court donors and talk to potential staff.
Biden's announcement comes in the wake of allegations he has made women feel uncomfortable in their encounters. The former vice president has maintained he does not believe he has acted inappropriately in his interactions with voters but said he's willing to listen to women's experiences and will be more "mindful about respecting personal space in the future."
This will mark Biden's third attempt for the White House after two failed bids in 1988 and 2008. His first presidential run was plagued by charges he plagiarized in law school and in campaign speeches. In 2008, he dropped out of the presidential contest after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, placing fifth with less than one percentage point.
Late last year, Biden declared himself the "most qualified person in the country to be president," with his supporters pointing to his more than four decades of political experience as a boon for a possible campaign.
(PHOTO: Andrew Toth/Getty Images)