Believe it or not, until this morning, Joe Biden wasn’t officially running for president in 2020 (although he’s been leading all the polls since 2017). The former Vice President announced his candidacy in a short campaign video where he not only made digs at Donald Trump and hinted at the current rise of white supremacy in the U.S., he full on called them out by name.
Biden opens his video talking about Charlottesville, Virginia—the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson and the scene of the deadly Unite the Right protests in 2017. He quotes The Declaration of Independence (which we all recognize thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda) then goes straight into the details of the day in August 2017 when neo-Nazis clashed with counter-protesters resulting in the murder of activist Heather Heyer. If you thought Biden was going to stop there, you’ve got another thing coming. He called out POTUS and he called him out HARD.
“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 he didn’t stop there.
“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an abhorrent moment in time 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, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen,” Joe said.
And just like that, he’s running for president.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) April 25, 2019
That bumps the number of Democratic candidates up to a whopping 20 people, including current senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker and, well, a bunch more.
Biden’s video sets an interesting tone for his run. While other Democrats—most notably Warren and Sanders—are focused on progressive policies, Joe has chosen to run an explicitly anti-Trump campaign. It’s still early days (like, reeeally early), but Biden seems to be focusing on the overlap of morality and politics rather than concrete policies he would like to pursue.
But then again, Joe Biden isn’t your average presidential candidate. He says what’s on his mind and what’s on his mind right now is Donald Trump. Does this mean they’re actually going to have that fight now?
Mark us down as the curious eyes emoji.
Question: “Mr. Vice President, do you have a message for President Trump — he welcomed you in the race, questioned if you have the intelligence to be the president of the United States?”
Joe Biden: “Everybody knows Donald Trump.” pic.twitter.com/yLkm2zB0Y1
— The Hill (@thehill) April 25, 2019