Former United States Vice President Joe Biden formally launched his presidential campaign for the 2020 United States presidential race on Saturday. Addressing a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Biden called President Donald Trump “the divider-in-chief” for stoking fear and dividing people on the basis of race, Reuters reported.
“This nation needs to come together,” he said at the rally attended by nearly 6,000 people. “Our president is the divider-in-chief. If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closed hand and a hard heart, to demonize opponents and spew hatred, they don’t need me. They’ve got President Donald Trump.”
The former vice president kick-started his presidential bid with a call for fairness and equality in the United States, requesting voters to end the partisan conflicts and pettiness that has left Americans miffed in the recent past. Biden also condemned “anger” within his Democratic Party and vowed to work towards unifying the country.
“Some of the really smart folks say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity,” Biden said. “They say Democrats are so angry, and that the angrier your campaign will be, the better chance you have to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it.”
Democratic nominating contests start February 2020, but 76-year-old Biden has begun the race with a 20-point lead over his closest rival, United States Senator Bernie Sanders, according to several opinion polls, Reuters reported.
Biden has been a United States senator for 30 years and has also served as the two-time vice president under former United States President Barack Obama. He has also argued that he is the best candidate to take over from the Trump administration next year.
“At the core of our campaign is a simple idea: we are at our best when we’re one America,” he said on Saturday.
Biden has emerged as the frontrunner among almost 20 Democratic presidential candidates, including India-American Senator Kamala Harris, first Hindu US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and Sanders. The candidate who wins the Democratic presidential primaries, which begin next year, would be declared as the party’s nominee for the November 2020 United States presidential elections.
The “divider-in-chief” remark has also been attributed to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a cover story of the Time magazine. The story, written by novelist Aatish Taseer, was titled, “Can the world’s largest democracy endure another five years of a Modi government?” On May 15, as a response to the cover story, Modi had said that he would proudly accept the tag if it was about the poor moving beyond caste and religion.