After months of speculation about whether he’d run for president in 2016, Vice President Biden will be speaking early Wednesday afternoon from the Rose Garden at the White House. No word yet on whether he’ll be sharing his final decision on that. He will reportedly be accompanied by President Obama.
We’ll update as there’s more information.
9:19 AM PT: Biden says that he’s said all along that the grieving process after his son Beau’s death might close the window for running for president, and he’s concluded that that window has closed.
9:20 AM PT: “While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent […] Democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record, they should run on the record.”
9:29 AM PT: Biden speaks out against inequality and for the middle class, calling for free public higher education: “We all
that 12 years of public education is not enough. As a nation, let’s make the same commitment to a college education today that we made to a high school education 100 years ago. He calls for tripling the childcare tax credit—”that alone will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of women able to be in the workforce and will raise our economic standards—saying we can pay for all of this by limiting the deductions in the tax code to 28 percent of income, leading the wealthy to pay somewhat more.
Biden also argues for compromise and against seeing Republicans as our enemies. He wants consensus—no word on how you get that with Republicans determined against compromise, ever.
As he goes on, it’s clear that Biden regrets not running and feels he does have a lot to say, and a lot to try to do in the next 15 months. This is almost a distillation of a year worth of stump speeches. In particular, he emotionally calls for a renewed fight to cure cancer … but then moves on to a call for equality and dignity for all.
9:34 AM PT: Biden’s emotional tone continues as he calls for optimism and faith in American greatness, for opportunity for all. “I am fully certain we are capable of accomplishing extraordinary things […] When we do, America won’t just win the future, we will own the finish line.”
Obama hugs Biden, then claps, as he finishes speaking.