Joe Biden reveals deadline for decision over his 2020 presidential bid

Former vice president is set to make a decision by January 2019 

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Wednesday 18 July 2018 18:26 BST
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Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States, is to decide by January whether he will run for president in 2020.
Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States, is to decide by January whether he will run for president in 2020. (Ritzau Scanpix/Keld Navntoft via REUTERS)

Joe Biden has said that he has set a deadline for announcing whether he will run for president in 2020.

Barack Obama’s former vice president said during a forum in Bogota, Colombia, that he knows he has “to make up my mind and I have to do it by January”

He said that his preliminary polling data showed he could beat current President Donald Trump should he throw his hat in the ring.

Mr Biden said he would hold what he called an “altar call” - a chance for Democrats to voice their commitment to endorse his bid - after the November 2018 midterms.

In a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, obtained by The Hill, Mr Biden was the frontrunner ahead of Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He polled as having the support of 32 per cent of Democrats, nearly double the amount who said they would vote for Ms Clinton or Mr Sanders.

Mr Biden had toyed with the idea of running in 2016, however, he ruled it out as he was still mourning the death of his son Beau, 46, a lawyer and member of the US Army Judge Advocate General corps.

Joe Biden comforts Meghan McCain over her father's cancer diagnosis

The younger Biden had passed away in mid-2015 from a rare form of brain cancer and Mr Biden has devoted his post-office life to raising funds for cure research.

Mr Biden would be 77 on election day in 2020, a concern for some inside the party. However, he is one of the few Democrats besides former Secretary of State Ms Clinton that could actually be a leader on foreign policy given his experience on the Senate foreign relations committee.

Other Democrats’ names that have been circulated for a possible run are New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

All are a fair bit younger than the former vice president but could be seen as having less national appeal.

Mr Biden has been a frequent critic of Mr Trump as well, calling the president’s recent summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin “beneath the office of the president” during the Bogota forum.

He also said he had never seen “such behaviour from a president of the US on an international forum that diminishes the US,” referring to Mr Trump not denouncing Russia for interfering with the 2016 US election but then saying he misspoke just a few days later.

"We're in a battle for the soul of the nation," Mr Biden has said in the past about the 2020 election. For his part, Mr Trump said he could easily beat the former Delaware Senator whom he referred to as "weak, both mentally and physically" in a March 2018 tweet.

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