Former Vice President Joe Biden told a crowd in Missoula, Montana on Monday that he believes he stands out among potential 2020 presidential candidates for one very important reason.
“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 while speaking at the University of Montana, according to CNN.
“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.”
Biden’s comments about a potential presidential run were met with applause from the crowd assembled as part of a stop on Biden’s book tour where he is promoting “Promise Me, Dad,” which addresses the death of his son and some of Biden’s own struggles in the public eye.
“No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job,” Biden said.
“I’ve been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that — even my critics would acknowledge — I may not be right but I know a great deal about it,” he added.
The former vice president, while an experienced politician, is 76 years old and has a past littered with potential political minefields that opponents, particularly Republicans, would point to as a reason for him not to be elected.
Event moderator Bruce Feiler played devil’s advocate and asked Biden how he planned to deal with issues his critics will target — like his age, the fact that he co-sponsored the 1994 crime bill that has been accused of accelerating incarceration rates for blacks, or that he was the chairman of the judiciary committee during the Anita Hill hearings, which tried to derail the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas in 1991.
“He’s out of touch in the era of #MeToo. And $1.5 million ain’t gonna cut it anymore, you need $100 million,” Feiler said, voicing concerns that voters might have about Biden’s candidacy.
“Who wants to wake up at 6 a.m. for the next two years and get insults from the President of the United States? … You’re a gaffe machine. I could go on. Which of these scares you the most?”
Biden said adamantly that none of those things scared him before he defended some of those potential liabilities.
“I’m ready to litigate all those things. The question is, what kind of nation are we becoming? What are we going to do? Who are we?” he said.
“Whether or not I run, whoever runs (among Democrats), I’m going to break my neck to make sure they win,” he said. “We can’t have four more years.”
According to Biden, he and his family will decide together whether he will run within the next two months.
“I have two young grandchildren my son left who love me and adore me and want me around. I want to be there to take care of them, so we’ve got to figure out whether or not this is something we can all do as a family,” Biden said.
President Donald Trump seems unconcerned with a potential Trump-Biden matchup in the 2020 election.
“Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1 percent, and President Obama took him out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did,” Trump said during a CBS News interview in July. “I’d love to have it be Biden.”
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