Former US vice president Joe Biden jumped into the race for the White House on Thursday, becoming the frontrunner in a crowded field challenging Donald Trump in 2020 — and hoping to be the oldest leader in American history.
The party’s 76-year-old senior statesman is the most experienced and best recognized Democrat in the running, a popular former VP who has been dominating early polls following months — even years — of campaign planning.
In a tweet accompanied by a three-and-a-half minute video, Biden said giving Trump four more years in power would be extremely dangerous and “fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are.”
Biden said a deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia woke him to the danger Trump posed, recalling that the president famously described “very fine people” on both sides of the clashes.
“And in that moment I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,” Biden said.
The veteran Democrat added that he couldn’t sit back while Trump stood to gut America’s core values and “everything that made America America.”
“That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” he said.
Trump’s response was swift: he insulted Biden on Twitter, his favorite forum for smacking down rivals, casting doubt on his rival’s mental capacity.