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Barack Obama endorses 'close friend' Joe Biden and touts his 'experience honesty and humility'

The former president gave his endorsement in a video message.

Updated Apr 14th 2020, 5:51 PM

Source: Joe Biden/YouTube

FORMER US PRESIDENT Barack Obama has described Joe Biden as a ‘close friend’, as he formally endorsed his former vice president for the White House. 

Obama made the expected endorsement by way of a video message, providing a boost to Biden’s campaign as one of the Democratic party’s most popular figures. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the campaign to a near halt and questions remain over how it will proceed over the next few months. 

In his message, Obama noted the current global situation, saying “these aren’t normal times”.

“Michelle and I hope that you and your families are safe and well. If you’ve lost somebody to this virus, or if someone in your life is sick, or if you’re one of the millions suffering economic hardship, please know that you’re in our prayers,” he said. 

Turning to Biden, Obama said that in “moments of great crisis… the spirit of looking out for one another” is needed in the White House. 

“The kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience; honesty and humility; empathy and grace – that kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols 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.Choosing Joe to be my Vice President was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a President right now.

biden Source: PA

In a 12-minute video, Obama praised Biden’s work on the H1N1 and Ebola epidemics as their stewardship of the US recovery from the previous recession. 

“Joe was there as we rebuilt from the Great Recession and rescued the American auto industry. He was the one asking what every policy would do for the middle class and everyone striving to get into the middle class,” Obama said. 

The former president also praised former candidate Bernie Sanders, who yesterday also came out to endorse Biden. 

“Bernie’s an American original – a man who has devoted his life to giving voice to working people’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations,” Obama said. 

Obama-Biden

Biden leaned heavily on his affiliation with the former president throughout the Democratic primary, touting their relationship and framing his pitch as an extension of Obama’s presidency.

On the trail, Biden often referred to himself as an “Obama-Biden Democrat”, and has said in recent weeks that he has spoken with Obama about his vice presidential pick.

But Obama stayed above the fray in the primary, rarely speaking out about the intra-party fight. The former president offered his private counsel to any Democratic presidential contender who asked for it, but made no efforts to bolster any one candidate’s campaign.

His endorsement comes considerably earlier than in 2016. He backed Hillary Clinton in June that year as her contentious primary fight with Sanders dragged on.

This cycle, the primary came to a much cleaner and quicker end, with Mr Sanders endorsing Biden yesterday.

The former vice president now has the support of all of his former Democratic primary rivals except for Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator is expected to formally throw her support behind him soon, according to a source.

Two other prominent Democrats who have yet to formally endorse Biden are former president Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 nominee.

Clinton has been in regular touch with Biden, including several times since Sanders dropped out of the race, according to an aide.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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