Vice President Joe Biden ended weeks of frantic speculation that he would run for president in 2016, announcing his decision not to run at the White House with Obama and his wife Jill at his side.
Biden admitted that the “window” of opportunity to mount a presidential campaign had closed, suggesting that his family took too long to reach a decision.
“Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination,” he said.
According to the White House, Biden made his final decision last night and made plans to deliver his decision at the White House before Obama left this afternoon for West Virginia to talk about drug addiction.
Obama served as a “sounding board,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz explained to reporters, but left the final decision up to his Vice President. Schultz indicated that Obama is not expected to speak about Biden’s decision today.
After the CNN Democratic Debate, many in the party closed ranks behind Hillary Clinton after she appeared confident and capable of running the field.
Biden sources continued to express optimism to reporters that their friend would eventually jump in the race, but he kept delaying the decision, blowing through multiple reported deadlines.
Just yesterday, he delivered two different speeches at an event rambling though his record in the Vice Presidency, and hinted that he was more qualified than Hillary to be Obama’s successor.
Biden also spent a lengthy amount of time meeting with Obama on Tuesday for lunch and discussing his political intentions. He appeared frustrated by the increasingly angry partisan tone of his party, emphasizing the importance of working together.
“I still have a lot of Republican friends, I don’t think my chief enemy is the Republican party, this is a matter of making things work,” he said during his speech yesterday.
He repeated that theme today by calling for Washington to “function” again and embrace bi-partisanship.
“Instead of being the problem, it has to become part of the solution again,” he said. “We have to be one America again.”
He defended the Obama administration insisted that his boss led the United States from “crisis to recovery.”
His decision not to run, appeared to be an admission that the Obama era had passed, although he did his best to defend the president’s legacy.
“I’m proud to have played a part in that,” he said. “This party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy.”