Former Vice President Joe Biden emerged from whatever cave he’s been in the past three months, but only long enough to tell Democratic supporters that he won’t run against President Donald Trump in 2020.
Biden appeared at a Democratic fundraiser in New Hampshire yesterday honoring the state’s congressional delegation, which is all female. It is the first time in United States history that women have made up a state’s entire congressional delegation.
U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter were honored by the former Vice President at the event.
In his speech at the annual New Hampshire Democratic Party dinner, Biden pleased to Democrats to “win back” the blue-collar voters who abandoned the party and voted for President Trump. He also called for a return to civility in politics.
The appearance at the event may have caused some to wonder if Joe Biden was laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential run. New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary, is often visited by potential nominees in the months leading up to election season. The former Vice President quickly squashed those rumors at the beginning of his speech.
‘When I got asked to speak, I knew it was going to cause speculation,’ he said to big applause. ‘Guys, I’m not running.’
The crowd booed and at least one person shouted, ‘Run, Joe Run,’ before Biden continued with his speech. He said that he was ready to start raising money and campaigning to help get Democrats elected at every level of government.
He also touted some of his post-White House policy work including heading up the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.
During his evening appearance, Biden discussed the importance of bringing a sense of dignity back to a political system that he referred to as coarse.
‘I know it seems like we’re hopelessly divided. I know it feels like we’re hopelessly stuck in a political death match and we can’t figure out how to get out of it,’ he said.
‘But we are better than that. I’ve always believed that we’re strongest when we act as one America.’
He told the crowd to abandon the false narrative that Democrats have to choose between progressive idealism and being a party that stands up for the working class.
‘What’s the core reason why you’re a Democrat?’ he asked. ‘Because you abhor the abuse of power. Whether it’s financial power, psychological power, physical power.’
Biden also told those in attendance that they needed to remind ‘the 172,000 voters we needed’ in the 2016 election that the Democratic Party has not forgotten them and understands them.
‘A lot of them wonder whether we’ve forgotten them. They are being abused by the system. They are as decent as any one of us are,’ he said. ‘So folks, let’s go win it back.’