1106 GMT May 24, 2019
Declaring the “soul of this nation” at stake, the former vice president pushed into the crowded 2020 presidential contest and quickly sparked a fierce debate over the direction of the modern-day Democratic Party, AP reported.
Ignoring the political noise in his own party, Biden aimed directly at Trump in an announcement video seizing on the Republican president’s response to the deadly clash between white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, two years ago.
Biden’s video, posted to YouTube, was largely focused on Trump’s response to the deadly August 2017 white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, where 32-year-old counter protester Heather Heyer was killed.
“And that’s when we heard the words of the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation,” Biden said. “He said there were ... ‘some very fine people on both sides.’ Very fine people on both sides? With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.”
“But 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,” the former vice president added. “And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
On Thursday, Trump responded in a tweet.
“Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe,” the president wrote. “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, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1988 and 2008, considered running in 2016 but for personal reasons — the death of his son Beau — did not enter the race. He has said he regrets that decision.
According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released this week, Biden (30 percent) holds a six-point advantage over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., (24 percent) among likely Democratic primary voters, AFP reported.
And Biden also leads Trump by 8 points among registered voters, with 42 percent preferring the former vice president to 34 percent who would prefer Trump in their theoretical head-to-head matchup.