Bi­den re­mains coy on 2020 pres­i­den­tial run

For­mer vice pres­i­dent says he will de­cide about his can­di­dacy by Jan­uary

USA TODAY US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Kim Hjelm­gaard

LON­DON – For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den in­sisted Wed­nes­day that he had not de­cided whether to chal­lenge Don­ald Trump for the pres­i­dency in


“I am not a can­di­date at this point,” Bi­den told USA TO­DAY af­ter a speech at Chatham House, a Lon­don-based global af­fairs think tank.

Bi­den passed on an op­por­tu­nity to run for pres­i­dent af­ter the death of his

46-year-old son, Beau, from can­cer in

2015. His name emerged at the top of lists of po­ten­tial Demo­cratic con­tenders for pres­i­dent in 2020, along with for­mer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sens. Cory Booker, Ka­mala Har­ris and Kirsten Gil­li­brand.

In Lon­don, Bi­den said he was not plan­ning to run against Trump. But he didn’t rule it out, say­ing he “had not made any de­ci­sions at this point.” Bi­den has said he would de­cide by Jan­uary whether to run.

A Morn­ing Con­sult-Politico poll over the sum­mer con­cluded that Bi­den would beat Trump in a hy­po­thet­i­cal matchup in the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Bi­den pre­dicted in Lon­don that the Demo­cratic Party would win con­trol of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the Se­nate in next month’s midterm elec­tions, a con­test he char­ac­ter­ized as “a bat­tle for the soul of Amer­ica.”

“I pre­dict to you that the Democrats will win 40 seats in the House. I also think there is a bet­ter than even chance we win the Se­nate,” he said in a Q&A af­ter his ad­dress.

In a wide-rang­ing ad­dress that cov­ered the United States’ “spe­cial re­la­tion­ship” with the United King­dom, as well as the en­croach­ing threats of a more geopo­lit­i­cally as­sertive China and Rus­sia, Bi­den said the world was at a “cross­roads of com­pet­ing val­ues,” and “look­ing in­ward, turn­ing in­ward has never, ever worked for us be­fore.”

Though Bi­den did not men­tion Trump by name, he said a “siren call of phony na­tion­al­ism” chal­lenges “seven decades of the U.S. un­der­writ­ing global se­cu­rity” as cer­tain po­lit­i­cal ac­tors treat “al­liances like pro­tec­tion rack­ets.”

Trump has ex­ited or up­ended trade pacts, with­drawn from the Iran nu­clear agree­ment, aban­doned the Paris cli­mate change ac­cord and ex­ac­er­bated ten­sions with Eu­ro­pean Union and North At­lantic Treaty Or­ga­ni­za­tion (NATO) al­lies.

“Open so­ci­eties are not self-sus­tain­ing,” Bi­den said. “The sys­tem re­quires con­stant main­te­nance.” He said the world is at an “in­flec­tion point” and there is a “con­test for the fu­ture.”

“I have never seen Europe so un­cer­tain and the U.S. in so much doubt,” Bi­den said, re­fer­ring to Bri­tain’s im­pend­ing de­par­ture from the 28-na­tion EU po­lit­i­cal bloc, the rise of pop­ulist, rightwing gov­ern­ments across the re­gion and in­tense cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal wars at home that span the econ­omy, courts, im­mi­gra­tion and gen­der re­la­tions.


For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den pre­dicts the Democrats will cap­ture both houses of Congress on Nov. 6.

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