President Obama asked the Democrats to unite behind Joe Biden in a 12-minute video Tuesday as he finally stepped into the 2020 campaign.
Obama said Biden represents the right kind of leadership ‘the kind of leadership guided by knowledge and experience, honesty and humility, empathy and grace.’
‘That kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitals and mayors offices, it belongs in the White House,’ Obama said. ‘And that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States.’
Obama did his part to pull the Democratic Party together calling Bernie Sanders an ‘American original’ and said Sanders’ ‘bold ideas’ would be needed in order to fix the American economy for the second time in 12 years.
He said that what Biden and Sanders have in common is that they agree that change needs to occur.
‘And that only happens if we win this election,’ Obama warned.
‘Because one thing everybody has learned right now is the Republicans occupying the White House and running the U.S. Senate are not interested in progress, they’re interested in power,’ the former president said.
President Obama released a 12-minute video on Tuesday announcing his endorsement of Joe Biden, his former vice president
Obama’s endorsement will come one day after Biden (left) had a surprise visitor on his livestream – Bernie Sanders (right), who went ahead and endorsed the former vice president and said he would assist his campaign
Biden (right) served for eight years as Obama’s (left) vice president. Here they’re photographed on the day Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for Biden’s decades of public service in the Senate and White House
In the video, Obama said picking Biden to be his vice president was one of the ‘best decisions I ever made,’ and the ex-president called the presumptive Democratic nominee ‘a close friend.’
Obama’s nod came one day after Bernie Sanders made a surprise appearance on Biden’s livestream and endorsed the former vice president, formally making him the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Since Sanders dropped out of the 2020 Democratic race last week, Democrats have been chomping at the bit to get Obama involved in the race to take on President Trump.
For Obama, it’s personal.
While Obama was in office Trump – then the host of NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ – was a constant Twitter critic and fueled the so-called ‘birther’ conspiracy theory, which suggested the Democratic president wasn’t legitimate because he was born in Africa, not Hawaii.
Obama, the country’s first black president, was born in Hawaii to a white American mother and an African father.
During the 2020 cycle, Obama has stuck to the sidelines, wanting to appear that he wasn’t interfering in the primary contest – despite Biden serving for eight years as his vice president.
Trump tried to take advantage of that silence last seek as Biden was sewing up the nomination.
‘And I don’t know why President Obama hasn’t supported Joe Biden a long time ago,’ Trump said from White House podium Wednesday, several hours after Sanders announced he was suspending his campaign. ‘There’s something he feels is wrong,’ Trump claimed.
The current president speculated that Obama would soon endorse Biden ‘because he certainly doesn’t want to see me for four more years.’
‘You know what, I’ll tell you, it does amaze me that President Obama hasn’t supported Sleepy Joe,’ Trump continued, using his nickname for Biden. ‘It just hasn’t happened, when is it going to happen?’
‘He knows something that you don’t know. That I think I know, but you don’t know,’ Trump said.
Trump has tried to present Biden, who at 77 is four years older than him, as addled and out of it, suggesting often that his staff does the work for him.
On Tuesday responding to the news of the coming endorsement, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale also played up the idea that Obama had been dragging his feet.
‘Barack Obama spent much of the last five years urging Joe Biden not to run for president out of fear that he would embarrass himself,’ Parscale said in a statement. ‘Now that Biden is the only candidate left in the Democrat field, Obama has no other choice but to support him.’
‘Even Bernie Sanders beat him to it,’ Parscale pointed out.
‘Obama was right in the first place: Biden is a bad candidate who will embarrass himself and his party. President Trump will destroy him,’ Trump’s campaign manager said.
Biden has been increasingly critical of Trump’s coronavirus response, though has seen his campaign sidelined by the pandemic as he’s forced to do online-only campaigning from his recreation room at home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Neither Biden, nor Sanders when he remained in the race, has been able to engage with supporters in person since mid-March.
Trump has replaced his packed campaign rallies with his daily coronavirus taskforce press briefings, which will sometimes go on for more than two hours.