Former President Barack Obama formally endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president of the United States, saying his former vice president has “all the qualities we need in a president right now” in a video posted online Tuesday.
“He’s someone whose own life has taught him how to persevere, how to bounce back when you’ve been knocked down,” Obama said, adding, “Through all his trials, he’s never once forgotten the values or the moral fiber that his parents passed on to him and that made him who he is. That’s what steels his faith in God, in America and in all of us. That steel made him an incredible partner when I needed one the most.”
On Twitter, Biden responded to the endorsement, saying, “Barack — This endorsement means the world to Jill and me. We’re going to build on the progress we made together, and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side.”
Barack — This endorsement means the world to Jill and me. We’re going to build on the progress we made together, and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side. https://t.co/0mAjPZeYmd
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 14, 2020
The 44th president touched on the work he and Biden did together during his presidency, specifically highlighting issues that are relevant once more amid the coronavirus pandemic, such as the recovery act that followed the 2008 recession and the administration’s efforts to contain the H1N1 and Ebola outbreaks. There were also some not-so-subtle jabs at President Donald Trump, though Obama did not specifically mention him by name.
“Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery,” Obama said. “And I know he’ll surround himself with good people — experts, scientists, military officials who actually know how to run the government and care about doing a good job running the government and know how to work with our allies, and who will always put the American peoples’ interests above their own.”
While Obama’s endorsement was not surprising, the former president was notably quiet throughout the entire Democratic primary campaign. He praised all of Biden’s former challengers, and specifically singled out Bernie Sanders, whom he called “an American original” (Sanders endorsed Biden yesterday, after suspending his campaign last week). In a plea for unity, Obama said, “The ideas he’s championed, the energy and enthusiasm he inspired, especially in young people, will be critical in moving America in a direction of process and hope.”
At the end of the video, Obama stressed the importance of the 2020 election and noted the other side’s vast financial resources and propaganda network “with little regard for the truth.” But, he added, “Pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise and spin to remind us of what is real and what is important. This crisis has reminded us that government matters. It has reminded us that good government matters, that facts and science matter, that the rule of law matters. That having leaders who are informed and honest and seek to bring people together rather than drive them apart — those kinds of leaders matter.”