Vice President Joe Biden announced he won’t run for president on Wednesday, ending weeks of rampant media speculation.
“I believe we are out of time,” he said regarding his chances to mount a successful campaign for the presidency. Biden said that although he wouldn’t run, he won’t be silent and will make his voice heard throughout the campaign.
The vice president said his family, still in mourning over the death of his son Beau after a long fight with brain cancer, was ready for him to run, but that it was no longer realistic for him to do so.
He called for an end to the divisive politics that’s permeated Washington, D.C. in the Obama years: “Washington just has to be able to function again…we have to be one America again.”
He also cautioned at the grave mistake Americans would be making if it didn’t elect a Democratic president to carry on President Obama’s legacy and unfinished business.
Biden’s announcement came after Fox News’ Ed Henry tweeted on Monday that Biden was expected to announce he’d run for president this week, citing three sources. Henry did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Most political and media pundits thought Hillary Clinton’s strong performance in the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13 would keep Biden from entering the race. Although Biden didn’t mention Clinton by name, his slim chances of beating her certainly weighed into his decision.
His decision not to run cements the central race among Democrats between Clinton and progressive firebrand Senator Bernie Sanders.
Biden served as a senator representing Delaware for 26 years before becoming Vice President to President Obama in 2009.