Vice President Joe Biden announced that he would not enter the 2016 presidential race, ending months of speculation over whether he would mount a challenge.
Biden suggested that they ran out of time after he and his family went through the grieving process over the death of his son, Beau Biden, in May.
“Unfortunately I believe we are out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination,” Biden said.
His decision ends a guessing game that lasted two-and-a-half months, after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in August that he was seriously considering entering the race.
He appeared on Wednesday at the White House Rose Garden with President Barack Obama.
“While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent,” Biden said, before he expressed hopes that the candidates would continue the Obama administration’s agenda.
For a time, it looked as if Biden would enter the race. Some Hollywood and Los Angeles donors, such as UTA’s Jay Sures, expressed a desire to work for his campaign and raise money in the industry. If he had run, Biden’s campaign would have been in a race to meet filing deadlines in key states and to amass a national fundraising network.
Andy Spahn, whose firm has been raising money for Clinton and for a SuperPAC backing her candidacy, said, “The Vice President’s decision not to run leaves voters with a very clear choice in the Democratic primary, one which I believe will further strengthen Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.”
Even though his decision was a no, Biden outlined a series of policy goals as he spoke in the Rose Garden, saying, “I would’ve wanted to be the president who ended cancer.” His son died of brain cancer.
He also made a reference to Clinton. Although he did not name her, he challenged her answer at last week’s Las Vegas debate that her enemies include Republicans. Biden said he doesn’t believe “that we should look at Republicans as our enemies,” but the opposition.
“I’m telling you we can do so much more, and I’m looking forward to continue working with this man to get it done,” Biden said, referring to Obama, standing at his side.
If he had run, Biden would have altered the dynamics of the race, but recent polls still showed him trailing Clinton, although he had cut into her support.
In a statement, Clinton said, “Joe Biden is a good man and a great Vice President. Serving alongside him in the Senate and then the administration, I saw first-hand his passion for our country and our people. Like millions of others, I admire his devotion to family, his grace in grief, his grit and determination on behalf of the middle class, and his unyielding faith in America’s promise.”
In a statement, Bernie Sanders, who is Clinton’s biggest challenger, said, “Joe Biden, a good friend, has made the decision that he feels is best for himself, his family and the country. I thank the vice president for a lifetime of public service and for all that he has done for our nation.”