Joe Biden announced Monday that his political career is not over and that he plans to run for president in 2020. From the Hill:
“I am going to run for president in 2020,” Biden told a group of reporters in the Capitol when asked about his political future. “What the hell man, anyway.”
Asked if he was kidding about running, the 74-year-old paused for four seconds before saying he is “not committing not to run.”
MSNBC has a beat-by-beat breakdown of Biden’s announcement including audio:
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) December 6, 2016
Based on the audio it sounds like Biden was joking when he threw this out. The reporters laughed and Biden didn’t rush to stop them. Plus the addition of “what the hell…anyway” makes it clear this is just Biden speaking off-the-cuff. On the other hand, when pressed it sounds as if Biden got a bit more serious and had to think about what he wanted to say. And what he said was that he wouldn’t rule it out.
The statement came as Biden was presiding over the Senate Monday where Senators were preparing to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill which got overwhelming bipartisan support when it passed the House last month. Before the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a portion of the bill aimed at cancer research would be named after Biden’s son Beau who died of cancer last year. From the Hill:
“I think it’s fitting to dedicate this bill’s critical cancer initiatives in honor of someone who would be proud of the presiding officer today and that’s his son Beau,” the Kentucky Republican said. “And in just a moment that’s exactly what the Senate will do. Renaming the NIH’s cancer initiatives in this bill after Beau Biden.”…
Biden told reporters after the vote that he didn’t know McConnell was going to rename part of the bill after his son, but that it “validates what we do here.”
Beau Biden’s illness and death was a major factor in Joe choosing not to run for president in 2016.