Biden to Join Crowded Democratic Primary Field
On Thursday, Former Vice President Joe Biden officially announced his 2020 presidential bid, ending months of speculation.
Through a video announcement, Biden took the opportunity to attack President Donald Trump for his response on the Charlottesville clash between white supremacist protesters and counter protestors two years ago. In the video, Biden said, “We are in the battle for the soul of this nation. 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 stand by and watch that happen.”
Prior to this announcement, Biden’s candidacy for the White House has been met with many criticisms. Earlier this month, former Lieutenant Governor nominee Lucy Flores accused the former Vice President of kissing her without her consent. In an online post, Flores wrote, “He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
Following Flores’s account, the New York Times published an article detailing two separate instances in which Biden had inappropriately touched women. In response to these allegations, Biden addressed the issues in a two-minute video. In the short clip, Biden said, “I get it, I get it. I hear what they are saying.”
Biden has also been scrutinized for his handling of the Anita Hill testimony in 1991. Hill had raised sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. After announcing his candidacy, a spokesperson said on the issue, “Vice President Biden has talked to Anita Hill.They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country.”
In response to Biden’s announcement, President Trump wrote on Twitter, “Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty - you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!”
Biden’s popularity is high amongst Democrats. Even prior to announcing his candidacy, polls according to RealClearPolitics saw Biden leading the crowded Democratic field, ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) among others. Iowa, where the first Democratic primary is held, currently has Biden at a 4 point lead based on an average of various polls.