Appearing Thursday on MSNBC, former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield claimed Biden asked former President Barack Obama not to endorse him in the Democratic primary.
Earlier Thursday, Obama offered praise after Biden launched his campaign — but noticeably stopped short of endorsing him as a candidate. “President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made,” Obama said in a statement. “He relied on the Vice president’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaign and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today.”
Biden aide tells @HallieJackson that the former vice president asked former President Obama to not endorse him at this time, because Biden "wanted to make the case" to the voters — "he is running in this race because he believes we need to restore the soul of this nation.” pic.twitter.com/hx2VlJFu5c
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 25, 2019
A partial transcript is as follows:
HALLIE JACKSON: Do you think it hurts that he’s not going to endorse here?
KATE BEDINGFIELD: No, so you know the vice president actually asked the president not to endorse. He wanted to make the case. He is running in this race because he believes we need to restore the soul of this nation, we need to rebuild the backbone of America, and that we need to unify and come together. And voters know Joe Biden. I think they know that he’s a man of character, he’s a man of empathy. As Democrats are looking for a change, and frankly as voters across the country are looking for a change from what we currently have in the White House, there’s no bigger change than Joe Biden.
JACKSON: Explain why Joe Biden would have asked President Obama not to endorse. It seems counter-intuitive.
BEDINGFIELD: He wants to make his own case. He’s going to make his own case. He is running on an incredibly strong message of, again, wanting to restore the soul of the nation, wanting to rebuild the middle class, so that as we rebuild the middle class, everybody gets to come along, so it’s inclusive. And wanting to reunify America. He really wants to make his case.