Former Vice President Joe Biden delivered a gaffe-ridden but defiant message shortly after suffering a blowout in the New Hampshire primary.
Speaking to supporters in South Carolina, where he retreated after defeat in New Hampshire was all but assured on Monday, the former vice president remained defiant that his White House prospects were still very much credible.
“Tonight, we just heard from the first two of 50 states. Not all of nation, not have…not a quarter of the nation, but two [states],” Biden said. “Now, where I come from that’s the opening bell. Not the closing bell.”
Despite the confidant tone, the former vice president quickly tripped himself up with a gaffe, claiming that although “Iowa and Nevada have spoken,” his campaign planned to vigorously contest the next series of primaries.
The gaffes, however, did not end there. While extolling his support among black voters, Biden claimed his former running mate, Barack Obama, had defeated an incumbent president in 2008.
The 77-year-old former vice president said:
All those Democrats that won against incumbents, from Jimmy Carter to a guy named Clinton and a guy named Obama, my good friend, guess what. They had overwhelming African American support. Without it nobody’s ever won.
Biden delivered his remarks shortly after polls closed in New Hampshire, where his campaign cratered. Although the results have yet to be finalized, the former vice president was firmly in fifth place—garnering only eight percent of the vote with more than 75 percent of precincts reporting.
The poor showing all but ensures Biden will not receive any delegates from the state, even though his campaign and an affiliated Super PAC spent heavily in the closing in a last ditch effort to avoid disaster.
The loss in New Hampshire, where Biden predicted victory as late as November, follows his campaign’s fourth place finish in the Iowa Caucuses. Those losses, coupled with Biden’s looming cash crunch, has led many to speculate that former vice president’s campaign is fading, with South Carolina likely to be either a firewall or a last stand.Biden, himself, admitted as much on Tuesday.
“I know, this is going to be the fight of my life,” Biden told his supporters. “I can’t do it alone, I need your help to climb this mountain.”