REPORT: Obama Repeatedly Tried To Talk Biden Out Of Running For President
When Sleepy Joe Biden announced he was running for president, he went to great lengths to explain why his old boss, Barack Obama, wasn’t endorsing him right out of the gate.
But it turns out Obama had tried several times to talk Biden out of running.
“The two men spoke at least a half dozen times before Mr. Biden decided to run, and Mr. Obama took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms,” the New York Times wrote in a piece headlined “Obama’s and Biden’ Relationship Looks Rosy. It wasn’t Always That Simple.”
” ‘You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,’ Mr. Obama told Mr. Biden earlier this year, according to a person familiar with the exchange. Mr. Biden — who thinks he could have defeated Donald Trump four years ago—responded by telling Mr. Obama he could never forgive himself if he turned down a second shot at Mr. Trump.”
The Times piece also said Obama had urged Biden to stay out of the last presidential race.
In 2016, Mr. Obama quietly pressured Mr. Biden to sit out the race, partly because he believed Mrs. Clinton had a better chance of building on his agenda, and partly because he thought Mr. Biden was in no shape emotionally following the illness and death of his son Beau in May 2015.
Back in April, when Biden announced he would be running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama issued a statement through spokeswoman Katie Hill.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. He relied on the Vice President’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today,” the statement said.
But the statement was notably lacking a formal endorsement.
Obama has said he wants to stay out of the fray and allow Democrats to pick their candidate.
Biden, though, said he had personally asked Obama not to issue an endorsement. “I asked President Obama not to endorse, and he doesn’t want to. Listen, we should — whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits,” he said when asked by reporters why Obama had not endorsed him.
President Trump has mocked Biden’s take on the lack of endorsement.
“How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him — there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him,” Trump said outside the Oval Office in an interview last month with The Hill.
“He was the vice president. They seem to have gotten along. And how President Obama’s not endorsing him is rather a big secret,” Trump said. “Then he goes and lies and said, ‘I asked the president not to endorse me.’ Give me a break.”