Politics

Joe Biden Launches 2020 Presidential Campaign

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Molly Prince Politics Reporter

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally declared his candidacy for president Thursday, launching his third bid for the Democratic nomination.

“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” he said in the video announcement. “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

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Biden attempted a presidential run twice before. He ran for the Democratic nomination in 1988, vying to become the youngest president since John F. Kennedy. Although a strong candidate, Biden dropped out of the race after instances of plagiarism and mistruths regarding his academic credentials came to light.

The Delaware politician also pursued a bid for the presidency in 2008, 20 years after his first attempt. Unlike his first go, Biden was overshadowed by his high-profile challengers such as former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (RELATED: Obama’s Flirtation With Potential 2020 Presidential Challengers Is Upsetting Biden: Report)

He withdrew from the 2008 race after a poor performance at the Iowa caucuses, however, months later he confirmed he would be Obama’s running mate. Biden was sworn in as the 47th vice president to the United States after Obama won the presidency.

Biden was eyeing another run at the presidency and was largely seen as a frontrunner in the 2016 Democratic playing field following Obama’s final term as president. He ultimately decided against running after the untimely death of his eldest son.

After leaving the office of the vice president, Biden refused to comment on whether he would be ruling out a run for the presidency in 2020, igniting further speculation of his presidential ambitions.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk through the Crypt of the Capitol for Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony. (J. Scott Applewhite - Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk through the Crypt of the Capitol for Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony. (J. Scott Applewhite – Pool/Getty Images)

He referred to himself as the most “qualified person” to take on President Donald Trump during the next election in December 2018.

“I’ll be as straight with you as I can. I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” Biden said at the time. “The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I’ve worked on my whole life.”

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