Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenFeehery: Dems’ embrace of socialism makes a Trump reelection look inevitable Press: Which way do Dems go in 2020? GOP pollster says Biden, Sanders are polling low for how well-known they are MORE will run for president in 2020, a senior Democratic lawmaker told The Hill on Tuesday, a move that will shake up the crowded Democratic primary field and make him the clear frontrunner for his party’s nomination against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Socialism ‘easy to campaign on but tough to govern on’ Stone’s defense denies using court to generate publicity for his book release Ocasio-Cortez: Trump sets tone of ‘misogyny, racism, conspiracy theory-ism’ MORE.
“I’m giving it a shot,” Biden said matter-of factly during a phone call with a House Democratic lawmaker within the past week — a conversation the congressman recounted to The Hill and interpreted as a sure sign that Biden will run in 2020.
In the brief phone call, the former vice president asked if he could bounce some campaign strategy ideas off the lawmaker and invited the lawmaker to sit down with him in person in the near future. Biden also said he hoped to have the lawmaker’s support, something the lawmaker did not commit to.
Biden responded that there was no harm if they keep talking, according to the lawmaker who spoke to The Hill on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the phone conversation.
Biden did not share any details about when or where he planned to make his formal presidential announcement, the lawmaker said. Biden and his wife Jill just returned from vacation in St. Croix in the Caribbean, where they reportedly discussed potential pitfalls and began finalizing their plans, the Associated Press reported.
Biden spokesman Bill Russo refuted the idea that the former vice president is absolutely running: “He has not made a final decision. No change.”
But at an event with firefighters Tuesday morning, Biden teased a 2020 presidential run as the crowd chanted, “Run, Joe, run!”
“I appreciate the energy you all showed when I got up here,” Biden told an energetic crowd at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ annual conference in Washington, D.C. “Save it a little longer, I may need it in a few weeks. Be careful what you wish for.”
His entry into the race has been largely expected. In recent weeks, the 76-year-old Biden has been laying the groundwork for what would be his third and final presidential bid, seeking support from Democratic donors, lawmakers and others in his political circle.
Biden, who served as President Obama’s vice president for two terms, also has a team of campaign aides already assembled for the moment he decides to launch a White House bid, which is expected in early April.
Senate and House sources said Biden has been reaching out to allies on Capitol Hill with increasing frequency in recent weeks, having conversations about what his potential candidacy would look like. Biden, Democrats said, has talked about how he could win in the primary, making the case that a growing Democratic field would work in his favor and that, because of things like his blue-collar appeal, he would be the strongest candidate to beat Trump in a general election.
Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondCPAC attendees say Biden poses greatest threat to Trump The Hill’s Morning Report — Emergency declaration to test GOP loyalty to Trump The Hill’s Morning Report – What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down MORE (D-La.), the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has been speaking to Biden regularly and urging him to jump in the race. Richmond said he believes that Biden is “95 percent” committed to running and has been coordinating calls between Biden and other members of Congress. Homeland Security Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonNielsen testifies: Five things you need to know Dem to Trump official: ‘White babies would not be treated the way these babies of color are being treated’ Pence uses NY Times, Washington Post headlines to defend Trump’s claim of border crisis MORE (D-Miss.) said he has been informed that he’s on a “call list” and Biden should be reaching out soon.
One source familiar with Biden’s thinking says it’s all part of the former vice president’s mission “to check all boxes” before he officially announces he’s running.
“He’s basically in. He’s just running the traps, as he says,” the source said.
In a Monday interview with CBS, Democratic Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSixteen years later, let’s finally heed the call of the 9/11 Commission Senate Dems introduce bill demanding report on Khashoggi killing Trump got in Dem’s face over abortion at private meeting: report MORE, who now holds the Delaware Senate seat Biden held for 36 years, said he was “confident” that Biden would run.
“If he gets in, he’s the frontrunner,” conceded a second House Democratic lawmaker, who has already endorsed another candidate for president. “He’s the standard that others will have to measure up to in terms of policy knowledge, in terms of his ability to run a presidential campaign, and folks who are close to him in the polls will have to compare themselves to Biden’s strengths.”
Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDems struggle to turn page on Omar controversy Questions mount over Cohen pardon claims Progressives come to Omar’s defense MORE (D-Va.), a former Biden staffer during the 1980s, hasn’t spoken to Biden recently but said there is nothing stopping his former boss from running again.
“At this stage in life, he doesn’t have a lot to lose and has a lot to gain. And he has a lot to offer the county,” Connolly told The Hill outside of the Capitol. “He offers the prospect of some desperately needed healing in this country after this scourge.”
A new Monmouth University poll had Biden leading the pack with 28 percent of likely Democratic voters saying they support him in the primary. Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump: Socialism ‘easy to campaign on but tough to govern on’ Trump tries to win votes in Senate fight Hillicon Valley: US threatens to hold intel from Germany over Huawei | GOP senator targets FTC over privacy | Bipartisan bill would beef up ‘internet of things’ security | Privacy groups seize on suspended NSA program | Tesla makes U-turn MORE (I-Vt) was a close second with 25 percent, followed by Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump: Socialism ‘easy to campaign on but tough to govern on’ Feehery: Dems’ embrace of socialism makes a Trump reelection look inevitable Press: Which way do Dems go in 2020? MORE (D-Calif.) with 10 percent and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump: Socialism ‘easy to campaign on but tough to govern on’ Facebook restores Warren ads removed for criticizing the platform Feehery: Dems’ embrace of socialism makes a Trump reelection look inevitable MORE (D-Mass.) with 8 percent.
But it won’t be smooth sailing for Biden. There is a concern among Democrats that while he would make a strong general election candidate, he would have a tough time in a primary because the party and many of his potential presidential rivals have tacked increasingly to the left.
The former vice president will also face decades-worth of opposition research — including his comments on the crime bill and his vote on the Iraq war — which portrays Biden as out of touch with the Democratic Party. And in the era of #MeToo, he will face criticism on his treatment of Anita Hill when he chaired the Judiciary Committee during Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings.
One Democrat lawmaker who spoke with Biden last week and has been encouraging him to run said the former vice president is very close to announcing his White House bid, barring some unforeseen complication.
“He’s 95 percent there but he’s not 100 percent,” the Democratic lawmaker said. “He wants to make sure the due diligence is done, but it’s no secret he wants to go.”
Despite the swarm of senators already in the race — Sanders, Harris, Warren, as well as Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerPress: Which way do Dems go in 2020? GOP pollster says Biden, Sanders are polling low for how well-known they are O’Rourke weighing possible Iowa trip ahead of 2020 announcement: report MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandPress: Which way do Dems go in 2020? The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump unveils budget wish list with domestic cuts, defense hikes Tax Foundation: Bill to restore full SALT deduction would benefit high earners MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharTrump: Socialism ‘easy to campaign on but tough to govern on’ Press: Which way do Dems go in 2020? Americans’ complaints over big tech haven’t hurt business, says GOP pollster MORE (D-Minn.) — one Democratic senator is hoping Biden joins the group.
“I love him,” the senator told The Hill, “and think he’s got an unique ability to connect with Americans in the Rust Belt who feel left behind by government.”
- White House: Will remain tough on Russia until its behaviour changes
- Donald Trump says book on White House is ‘full of lies’
- PICTURES: Take of a tour of Angus village's very own historic 'White House'
- What's So Stable About This White House? The Ratings
- Second White House staff member departs Trump administration over abuse claims
- FBI challenges White House over explosive Russia case memo
- Trump breaks with Bannon, says former White House aide 'lost his mind'
- White House denies that Netanyahu discussed annexing settlements with US
- Donald Trump aide declining to answer questions about time in White House
- Trump aide declines to answer Russia panel questions about White House
- White House denies being weak on Russia, says more sanctions to come
- 25th Amendment 'alive every day in the White House,' Michael Wolff says
- Eight explosive revelations from the new book on Trump's White House
- Oprah 'actively thinking' of running for the White House
- Trump in 'excellent health', White House doctor says after exam
- Tom Brady SNUBS Donald Trump and White House visit with New England Patriots because of ‘family matters’
- National news: Donald Trump says book on White House is ‘full of lies’
- Donald Trump in 'excellent health' after first medical exam since becoming President, White House doctor says
- Trump is fit for duty, but should hit the gym: White House doctor
- Report finds White House aide Conway violated law in TV interviews
Exclusive: Biden to run for White House, says Dem lawmaker have 1718 words, post on thehill.com at March 12, 2019. This is cached page on Business News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.