Obama made the announcement on Twitter, writing, “I’m proud to endorse my friend [Joe Biden] for President of the United States.” In an accompanying video, Obama, who didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name, said that Biden has the most “progressive platform of any major-party candidate” in history.
Biden praised Obama in a statement, saying his eight years as Obama’s vice president “was among the great honors of my life.”
“President Obama understands, as I do, that we will come through this crisis stronger. And then we’ll not only rebuild this nation—we will transform it,” he said.
During speeches and debates, Biden has relied heavily on his work in the Obama administration, touting measures that were passed when he served as vice president for eight years. But despite that, Obama appeared to show reluctance in endorsing Biden during the crowded Democratic primary.
The endorsement comes a day after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who recently dropped out of the 2020 race, lent his support to Biden’s campaign ahead of a primary battle with Trump. Biden now has the support of all his former Democratic presidential rivals other than Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is reportedly planning to endorse him in the coming days.
In 2016, the former president backed Hillary Clinton during her Democratic primary battle with Sanders.
“We have a field of very accomplished, very serious and passionate and smart people who have a history of public service,” Obama previously said at a private fundraiser in late 2019, CNN reported. “Whoever emerges from the primary process, I will work my tail off to make sure they are the next president.”
Obama called on the Democratic candidates to avoid going too far left so as not to push any moderate voters away.
“My one cautionary note is I think it is very important for all the candidates who are running at every level to pay some attention to where voters actually are,” Obama stated in November 2019, adding that the candidates shouldn’t be engaged in “thinking that the resistance to certain approaches to things is simply because voters haven’t heard a bold enough proposal.”
After Sanders’s endorsement, Biden—aiming to pull some of the self-described socialist’s loyal followers over to his side—assured Sanders’s supporters that Sanders would advise him on health care, the economy, and education.
But despite the high-profile endorsements from Obama and Sanders, it remains to be seen if Biden can continue to stay relevant as the United States grapples with the fallout caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
Over the past several weeks, Biden has been relegated to the sidelines of the fight against the virus and has been forced to live stream announcements and proposals from his home in Delaware instead of holding campaign rallies and speeches and participating in debates. Meanwhile, Trump has held CCP virus briefings every night that are watched by tens of millions of Americans.
After a slow start this year, which included dismal performances in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, Biden emerged as the Democratic front runner over Sanders with decisive wins in South Carolina and numerous Super Tuesday states.
Trump’s reelection campaign released a statement on Obama’s endorsement.
“Now that Biden is the only candidate left in the Democrat field, Obama has no other choice but to support him. Even Bernie Sanders beat him to it,” the statement said, adding that Obama allegedly viewed Biden as a potentially poor candidate. “President Trump will destroy him.”
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.