Former US VP Biden announces 2020 run for White House

Source:Reuters Published: 2019/4/25 20:58:42

Former US vice president Joe Biden  Photo: AFP

Former US vice president Joe Biden, a moderate who has made his appeal to working-class voters that deserted the Democrats in 2016 a key part of his political identity, launched a bid for the White House on Thursday as the party's instant frontrunner.

Biden announced the third presidential bid of his career by video on YouTube and other social media. He is expected to make his first public appearance as a candidate on Monday at an event in Pittsburgh featuring union members, a key constituency.

Biden, 76, had been wrestling for months over whether to run. His candidacy will face numerous questions, including whether he is too old and too centrist for a Democratic Party yearning for fresh faces and increasingly propelled by its more vocal liberal wing.

Still, he starts as the leader of the pack in opinion polls of a Democratic field that now will total 20 contenders seeking the chance to challenge President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee, in November 2020.

Critics say his standing in polls is largely a function of name recognition for the former US senator from Delaware, whose more than four decades in public service includes eight years as president Barack Obama's No.2 in the White House.

As speculation about his bid mounted, Biden faced new questions about his longtime ­propensity for touching and kissing strangers at political events, with several women coming forward to say he had made them feel uncomfortable.

Biden struggled in his response to the concerns, at times joking about his behavior. But ultimately, he apologized and said he recognized standards for personal conduct had evolved in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Trump and his allies seized on the flap, attempting to weaken perhaps his top rival before Biden entered the race.

Even so, Biden was determined to push forward, arguing his background, experience and resume best positioned him to take on Trump next year.

In a speech to union members in April, Biden called Trump a "tragedy in two acts."

"This country can't afford more years of a ­president looking to settle personal scores," he said.



Posted in: AMERICAS

blog comments powered by Disqus