Former Vice President Joe Biden, fresh off his presidential announcement Thursday, addressed reporters in Wilmington, Deleware, declaring that “America’s coming back like we used to be.”
“America’s coming back like we used to be: ethical, straight, tell ’em the truth… supporting our allies, all those good things,” Biden said when asked if he has a message for the world following his campaign kickoff.
The former vice president’s remark was reminiscent of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan: “Make American Great Again.” The president’s critics have, without evidence, tried to claim that the phrase and its placement on red baseball caps is a white supremacist sentiment.
Biden formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest on Thursday, declaring the “soul of this nation” at stake if Trump wins re-election.
In a video posted on Twitter, Biden focused on the 2017 deadly clash between white supremacists and left-wing counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, spreading the hoax narrative that the president called the former group “very fine people.”
“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said. “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Following his announcement, Biden traveled by train back to Wilmington, where he grabbed a pepperoni pizza at Gianni’s restaurant and mingled with customers.
Biden is spending time in his hometown with spend time with family before holding his first public event as a 2020 presidential candidate in Pittsburgh on Monday. Then it’s off to Iowa, home of the leadoff nominating caucuses on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by two days in South Carolina. He will visit the other two early-voting states, Nevada and New Hampshire, in early May, before holding a major rally in Philadelphia.
The AP contributed to this report.