Former President Barack Obama offered his formal endorsement of Joe Biden on Tuesday, injecting himself squarely in the presidential race for the first time by urging Democrats across the party’s ideological spectrum to rally behind Biden and form a unified front to defeat President Donald Trump and win back the White House.
Obama, in a lengthy videotaped on Monday and posted on Tuesday, lauds Biden’s character and resilience, touting him as the right kind of candidate to lead the country through a crisis like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Obama also highlights the stakes of the 2020 election by arguing Trump and Republicans in the Senate are solely interested in power, not making progress for Americans.
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes, or our workplaces, or our neighborhoods, or our houses of worship,”
Obama says in the over 11-minute endorsement video. “It also has to be reflected in our national government.”
He continues: “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.”
“And that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States,” he adds.
The endorsement reunites the former running mates and positions Obama, whose endorsement of Biden was seen as a forgone conclusion once Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race last week, to be one of Biden’s most powerful surrogates in the race against Trump.
It also marks the public re-emergence of Obama into the political arena. The former president kept a low public profile throughout much of the Democratic nomination fight, but he was active behind the scenes.
Biden thanked Obama for the endorsement on Tuesday shortly after the video posted.
“Barack — This endorsement means the world to Jill and me,” he wrote. “We’re going to build on the progress we made together, and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side.”