Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, officially announced his decision to run for president.
In a three-plus-minute video posted Thursday, Biden invoked 2017's deadly riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, to go on the offensive against President Donald Trump.
Biden also shared the video on his Twitter page, writing, "The core values of this nation … our standing in the world … our very democracy ... everything that has made America — America — is at stake. That's why today I'm announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. #Joe2020."
The video included remarks about Trump's statements following the Charlottesville, Virginia, riots — which occurred between white nationalists, neo-Nazi activists, and protesters against the group's presence. In the video, Biden discussed the riots, calling them a "defining moment" for the U.S., and pointing fingers at the "crazed faces" of white nationalists and their march.
"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. He said there were, quote, 'Some very fine people on both sides,'" Biden said. "'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.
"In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I'd ever seen in my lifetime," he admitted. "We are in the battle for the soul of this nation.
"I believe history will look back on four years of this president, and all he embraces, as an aberrant moment in time," the presidential candidate added. "But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. ... I cannot stand by and watch that happen."
Joe Biden For President: America Is An Idea www.youtube.com
According to NPR, the former vice president is expected in Pittsburgh next week to kick off his campaign. CNN reported that Biden is planning to visit early primary voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina over the coming weeks.
Biden is the 20th candidate to enter a packed Democratic presidential campaign field.
Biden spent more than three decades in the U.S. Senate representing the state of Delaware and served eight years as former President Barack Obama's vice president. This is his third bid for president.
A new Morning Consult/Politico Wednesday showed that Biden leads President Trump by 8 percentage points, 42 to 34, among registered voters in a hypothetical 2020 matchup.
Nineteen percent those polled said that they were unsure at this time who they would support in a 2020 matchup, and 5 percent said that they wouldn't vote at all.
The poll also reported that Biden has a higher support among women, 45 percent to 28 percent, compared to Trump.
Morning Consult/Politico conducted the survey April 19-22 among 1,992 registered voters. The poll's margin of error is 2 percentage points.
Biden enters the race with a lead over other Democrats who have announced their bid for president, CNBC reported, surpassing Democratic front-runners like Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. A Tuesday Monmouth University poll found that Biden would lead the Democratic Party field, with 27 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters reporting that they would support him in a bid for president.
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