Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign

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Biden for President
Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
Campaign2020 United States presidential election (Democratic Party primaries)
CandidateJoe Biden
Vice President of the United States (2009–2017)
U.S. Senator from Delaware (1973–2009)
AffiliationDemocratic Party
AnnouncedApril 25, 2019
LaunchedApril 29, 2019
HeadquartersPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania[1]
Key peopleGreg Schultz (campaign manager)
Cedric Richmond (National Co-Chairman)[2]
Pete Kavanaugh (deputy campaign manager)
Kate Bedingfield (communications director, deputy campaign manager)
Anthony Bernal (deputy campaign manager)
Symone Sanders (senior advisor)
Cristobal Alex (senior advisor)
Brandon English (senior advisor)
Erin Wilson (national political director)
Katie Petrelius (national finance director)[3]
ReceiptsUS$22,043,828.95 [4]
SloganOur best days still lie ahead[5]
This is America[6]
We are America, second to none[7]
Anything is possible[8]
Website
www.joebiden.com

The 2020 presidential campaign of Joe Biden began on April 25, 2019, when Biden released a video announcing his candidacy.[9][10] Joe Biden, the former vice president of the United States and a former U.S. senator from Delaware, had been the subject of widespread speculation as a potential 2020 candidate after declining to be a candidate in the 2016 election.

As a former vice president, Biden entered the race with very high name recognition. From his campaign announcement until late September, he was generally considered the front runner of the race, and led the national primary in most major polls.[11][12]

Background[edit]

Previous presidential campaigns[edit]

Biden's 2020 presidential campaign is his third attempt to seek election for president of the United States. His first campaign was made in the 1988 Democratic Party primaries where he was initially considered one of the potentially strongest candidates. However, newspapers revealed plagiarism by Biden in law school records and in speeches, a scandal which led to his withdrawal from the race in September 1987.

He made the second attempt during the 2008 Democratic Party primaries, where he focused on his plan to achieve political success in the Iraq War through a system of federalization. Like his first presidential bid, Biden failed to garner endorsements and support that he withdrew from the race after his poor performance in the Iowa caucus in January 3, 2008. He was eventually chosen by Barack Obama as his running mate and won the general election as vice president of the United States, being sworn in on January 20, 2009.

Speculation[edit]

Vice President Joe Biden was seen as a potential candidate to succeed Barack Obama in the 2016 presidential election. On October 21, 2015, following the death of his son Beau, Biden announced that he would not seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.[13][14]

During a tour of the United States Senate with reporters on December 5, 2016, Biden refused to rule out a potential bid for the presidency in the 2020 presidential election.[15][16] He reasserted his ambivalence about running on an appearance of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on December 7, in which he stated "never say never" about running for president in 2020, while also admitting he did not see a scenario in which he would run for office again.[17][18] He seemingly announced on January 13, 2017, exactly one week prior to the expiration of his vice presidential term, that he would not run.[19] However, four days later, he seemed to backtrack, stating "I'll run if I can walk."[20] In September 2017, Biden's daughter Ashley indicated her belief that he was thinking about running in 2020.[21]

Time for Biden, a political action committee, was formed in January 2018, seeking Biden's entry into the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[22][23] In February 2018, Biden informed a group of longtime foreign policy aides that he was "keeping his 2020 options open".[24]

In March 2018, Politico reported that Biden's team was considering a number of options to distinguish their campaign, such as announcing at the outset a younger vice presidential candidate from outside of politics,[25] and also reported that Biden had rejected a proposition to commit to serving only one term as president.[25] On July 17, 2018, he told a forum held in Bogota, Colombia, that he would decide if he would formally declare as a candidate by January 2019.[26] On February 4, with no decision having been forthcoming from Biden, Edward-Isaac Dovere of The Atlantic wrote that Biden was "very close to saying yes" but that some close to him are worried he will have a last-minute change of heart, as he did in 2016.[27] Dovere reported that Biden was concerned about the effect another presidential run could have on his family and reputation, as well as fundraising struggles and perceptions about his age and relative centrism compared to other declared and potential candidates.[27] Conversely, his "sense of duty", offense at the Trump presidency, the lack of foreign policy experience among other Democratic hopefuls and his desire to foster "bridge-building progressivism" in the party were said to be factors prompting him to run.[27]

Announcement[edit]

On March 12, 2019, he told a gathering of supporters that he may need their energy "in a few weeks".[28] Five days later, Biden accidentally said that he would be a candidate in the slip of his tongue at a dinner in Dover, Delaware.[29]

On April 19, 2019, The Atlantic reported that Biden planned to officially announce his campaign on April 24, 2019 in a video announcement, followed by a subsequent launch rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Charlottesville, Virginia.[30] In the days before his expected launch, several major Democratic donors received requests to donate to his campaign committee, to be named "Biden for President".[31] However, subsequent reports on April 22 indicated that Biden's plans remained uncertain, with no known launch date, locations for campaign rallies unknown, and no permits secured for an event in Philadelphia; though associates continued to plan a fundraiser on April 25 in Philadelphia hosted by Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen, it is unclear whether the fundraiser will be held as planned,[32][33] though his associates have continued to solicit donations in the days leading up to his expected announcement.[34] Subsequent reports indicated that Biden would formally enter the race on April 25, 2019,[9] so as to avoid overshadowing the She the People forum on the day before,[35] and reserved the Teamsters Local 249 union hall in Pittsburgh for April 29.[36]

Biden released a video formally announcing his campaign early on April 25.[10]

Fundraising[edit]

On April 26, 2019, Biden's campaign announced that they had raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours, surpassing all other candidates' first 24-hour fundraising totals for the Democratic presidential nomination at that time.[37] Biden's fundraising came from 128,000 unique contributors, equivalent to that of another candidate, Beto O'Rourke, but about 40% lower than another candidate, Bernie Sanders, who had 223,000 unique contributors in the first 24 hours of their campaign.[38]

Strategy and tactics[edit]

Biden campaigning in Marshalltown, Iowa.

According to Natasha Korecki and Marc Caputo from Politico, the Biden campaign is running a campaign on the premise that the Democratic base is not nearly as liberal or youthful as perceived. Privately, several Biden advisers acknowledge that their theory is based on polling data and voting trends, contending that the media is pushing the idea of a hyper-progressive Democratic electorate being propagated by a Twitter bubble and being out of touch with the average rank-and-file Democrat. In April 2019, Biden told reports that "The fact of the matter is the vast majority of the members of the Democratic Party are still basically liberal to moderate Democrats in the traditional sense." Biden also told those reports that he describes himself as an "Obama-Biden Democrat". Two Biden advisers who declined to speak on record said, "There's a big disconnect between the media narrative and what the primary electorate looks like and thinks, versus the media narrative and the Twitter narrative [and] the Democratic primary universe is far less liberal. It's older than you think it is." From April 25, 2019, to May 25, 2019, Biden's campaign has spent 83% of his total $1.2 million Facebook ad money on targeting voters 45 years and older. No other top 2020 Democratic candidate has pursued a similar strategy in the primary.[39]

Biden, along with Bernie Sanders, has often been perceived as the candidate with the best chance of defeating Trump in the general election.[40] According to the Washington Post, this may be because of his more moderate policies, or it may be because voters or party leaders believe a white male candidate is more "electable".[41]

Campaign staff[edit]

On May 22, 2019, the magazine Ebony reported that Biden had begun assembling his 2020 presidential campaign team, to be headquartered in Philadelphia. His team includes campaign manager Greg Schultz[42] and director of strategic communications Kamau Mandela Marshall, who both previously worked in the Obama administration[43][44] as well as other senior advisors from the Obama administration.[45] Additionally, on May 31, the Biden campaign announced that Congressman Cedric Richmond would join the campaign as the national co-chairman.[2]

Endorsements[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Although generally viewed as a moderate, Biden declared himself as a candidate with the most progressive record.[46]

On April 29, 2019, Biden came out in favor of a public option for health insurance and outlawing non-compete clauses for low-wage workers.[47]

On May 21, 2019, a Biden campaign aide clarified to The Associated Press that Biden would support immediate federal legislation codifying the Roe v. Wade precedent into statute.[48]

On June 1, 2019, Biden gave a keynote address to hundreds of activists and donors at the Human Rights Campaign's annual Ohio gala. He declared his top legislative priority was passing the Equality Act. He attacked Donald Trump for banning transgender troops in the U.S. military, allowing individuals in the medical field to deny treating LGBTQ individuals, and allowing homeless shelters to deny transgender occupants.[49]

On June 4, 2019, the Biden campaign released a $1.7 trillion climate plan that embraced the framework of the Green New Deal.[50][51]

On June 5, 2019, the Biden campaign confirmed to NBC News that Biden still supports the Hyde Amendment, something no other Democratic presidential candidate came out in support of. Biden's campaign also told NBC News that Biden would be open to repealing the Hyde Amendment if abortion access protections currently under Roe v. Wade were threatened.[52] On June 6, 2019, Biden, at the Democratic National Committee's African American Leadership Council Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, stated he now supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, crediting his change in position, in part, to recent efforts by Republicans passing anti-abortion state laws, which he called "extreme laws". Also at the summit, he focused on economic inequality for African Americans, education access, criminal justice reform, healthcare, and voter suppression in the south.[53][54]

On June 20, 2019, Biden came out against capital punishment and now supports repealing both federal and state level capital punishment statutes. Prior to June 20, 2019, he had supported capital punishment.[55][56]

On July 5, 2019, Biden told CNN he did not support decriminalizing undocumented border crossing into the United States, a position that puts him at odds with many of his 2020 Democratic US presidential rivals.[57]

On September 4, 2019, during a CNN climate change town hall, Biden said he does not support banning fracking for natural gas, distancing himself from some of his Democratic US presidential rivals, but said he would evaluate existing fracking permits to determine their safety.[58]

Biden supports decriminalization, but not legalization of recreational cannabis usage. Biden believes no one should be in jail because of cannabis use. As president, he says he would decriminalize cannabis use and automatically expunge prior convictions.[59][60][61] He supports the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, leave decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to the states, and reschedule cannabis as a schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts. Every other top-tier Democratic presidential candidate supports full federal legalization of cannabis.

Controversies[edit]

Comments on segregation[edit]

While at a fundraiser on June 18, 2019, Biden said that one of his greatest strengths was "bringing people together" and pointed to his relationships with Senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge, two segregationists as examples. While imitating a Southern drawl, Biden remarked "I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me 'boy,' he always called me 'son.'"[62][63] New Jersey Senator Cory Booker was one of many Democrats to criticize Biden for the remarks, issuing a statement that said "You don't joke about calling black men 'boys.' Men like James O. Eastland used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity".[63] In response, Biden said that he was not meaning to use the term "boy" in its derogatory racial context.[64]

During the first Democratic presidential debate, Kamala Harris criticized Biden for his comments regarding his past work with segregationist senators and his past opposition to desegregation busing that allowed black children like her to attend integrated schools.[65] Biden was widely criticized for his debate performance and support for him dropped 10 points.[66][67][68] President Trump defended Biden, saying Harris was given "too much credit" for her debate with Biden.[69]

Verbal gaffes and age concerns[edit]

Biden has a history of "verbal fumbles", which became a problem in the 2020 election campaign; individuals began questioning Biden's ability for high office due to the possibility of age-related mental decline.[70] In 2019, according to Study Finds, the majority of Americans believe that the ideal cut-off for a presidential age is 72, younger than current President Donald Trump (73), Biden (76), and fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders (77).[71]

In 2018, Biden said he was "a gaffe machine" but disagreed with comparisons to Trump, saying his gaffe-prone nature was "a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can't tell the truth".[72] On 26 August Biden subtly addressed the controversy. Following a minor mishap in which he stumbled over where he had spoken earlier that day at Dartmouth College, he directly looked at the assembled press and said that "I want to be clear: I'm not going nuts."[73] In 2013, he said that the doctor who performed his two brain aneurysms in 1988 told him that if he survived the operation, "the side of the brain that the first aneurysm is on controls your ability to speak". However, Dr. Neal Kassell (a Biden 2020 supporter who performed the operations) said the aneurysms were fully treated, that Biden showed no signs of mental trouble as a result, and there were no long-term effects of the operation.[70]

Trump–Ukraine scandal[edit]

From May to August 2019, President of the United States Donald Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani repeatedly pressed the Government of Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden.[74][75][76][77][78][79] A report released on September 25, 2019, stated that Trump would talk with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky only if they discussed Biden. Leshchenko later sought to back track his comments, saying that he did not know if officials had viewed discussing Biden as a precondition for a meeting.[80]

Despite allegations made by Trump and his allies, as of November 2019, there has been no evidence produced of any wrongdoing by the Bidens.[81]

A whistleblower complaint was filed by an officer of the intelligence community. Initially the complaint was withheld from Congress at the direction of the White House and the Department of Justice.[82] By law, such a complaint is supposed to be forwarded to the congressional intelligence committees. The complaint was released to congressional intelligence committees on September 25, 2019,[83] and a redacted version of the complaint was made public the next morning.[84] Both Trump and Zelensky deny there was pressuring in the call.[85]

The controversy triggered the commencement of the formal process of impeachment inquiries against Trump on September 24, 2019, with House speaker Nancy Pelosi directing six House committee chairmen to proceed "under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry".[86]

In October 2019, CNN refused to run an ad for the Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign, saying it includes false claims against former Vice President Joe Biden.[87] Fox News rejected a similar request from the Biden 2020 presidential campaign.[88]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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  35. ^ Lah, Kyung (April 24, 2019). "Biden's team was warned about announcing 2020 bid on same day as forum focused on women of color". CNN. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  36. ^ Olson, Laura (April 23, 2019). "With campaign launch timing still in flux, Joe Biden is coming to Pittsburgh". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  37. ^ Marc Caputo; Scott Bland (April 26, 2019). "Biden crushes it in first-day fundraising: $6.3 million". Politico. Archived from the original on April 26, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  38. ^ Gideon Resnick (April 26, 2019). "Joe Biden Tops Bernie Sanders' First-Day Fundraising Tally". Daily Beast. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  39. ^ Biden gambles on high-risk primary strategy Politico
  40. ^ "Biden leads Democrats as minorities favor most electable candidate ..." Reuters. August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
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  56. ^ Biden is labeled a moderate. But his agenda is far more liberal than Hillary Clinton's.
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  58. ^ "Biden says he wouldn't ban fracking, distancing himself from rivals". Washington Examiner. September 5, 2019.
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  74. ^ Fandos, Nicholas (September 24, 2019). "Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry of Trump". The New York Times.
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  76. ^ Volz, Alan Cullison, Rebecca Ballhaus and Dustin. "Trump Repeatedly Pressed Ukraine President to Investigate Biden's Son". Wall Street Journal.
  77. ^ {cite web|url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-pressed-ukrainian-leader-to-investigate-bidens-son-according-to-people-familiar-with-the-matter/2019/09/20/7fa39b20-dbdc-11e9-bfb1-849887369476_story.html%7Ctitle=Trump pressed Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden's son, according to people familiar with the matter|website=Washington Post}}
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  79. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (May 9, 2019). "Rudy Giuliani Plans Ukraine Trip to Push for Inquiries That Could Help Trump". New York Times.
  80. ^ "Biden probe was condition for Trump-Zelenskiy phone call: Ukrainian adviser". ABC News. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  81. ^ Multiple sources:
    • "Trump: I want to meet my accuser". Agence France Presse. September 30, 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019. US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he wants and deserves to meet the anonymous whistleblower at the center of the fast-moving scandal that has triggered an impeachment probe against him ... Brandishing what he said were affidavits incriminating Biden's son Hunter over his work at a Ukrainian company, Giuliani said Trump was duty bound to raise the issue with Kiev. Trump and his allies claim Biden, as Barack Obama's vice president, pressured Kiev to fire the country's top prosecutor to protect his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a gas company, Burisma Holdings, accused of corrupt practices. Those allegations have largely been debunked and there has been no evidence of illegal conduct or wrongdoing in Ukraine by the Bidens.
    • Matthias, Williams; Polityuk, Pavel (September 26, 2019). "Zelenskiy opponents say comments about Europeans to Trump could hurt Ukraine". Reuters. Retrieved October 1, 2019. Trump pressed Zelenskiy to investigate the business dealings of the son of his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner to challenge Trump in an election next year. Zelenskiy agreed. Biden's son Hunter worked for a company drilling for gas in Ukraine. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.
    • Isachenkov, Vladimir (September 27, 2019). "Ukraine's prosecutor says there is no probe into Biden". Associated Press. Retrieved October 1, 2019. Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either the former vice president or his son.
    • "White House 'tried to cover up details of Trump-Ukraine call'". BBC News. September 26, 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by the Bidens.
    • Timm, Jane (September 25, 2019). "There's no evidence for Trump's Biden-Ukraine accusations. What really happened?". NBC News. Retrieved October 1, 2019. But despite Trump's continued claims, there's no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either Biden.
  82. ^ Cite error: The named reference timeline was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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External links[edit]