In Lon­don, Joe Bi­den coy on 2020 pres­i­den­tial run

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - Kim Hjelm­gaard

LON­DON – One of the most vo­cal de­fend­ers of the rules-based global or­der widely con­sid­ered un­der threat by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion in­sisted Wed­nes­day he had not yet de­cided whether to chal­lenge for the pres­i­dency in 2020. “I am not a can­di­date at this point,” former Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den told USA TO­DAY fol­low­ing 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, but his name has emerged at the top of lists of prom­i­nent Democrats be­lieved to be se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing a run for pres­i­dent. In Lon­don, Bi­den said he was not cur­rently plan­ning to run against Trump. How­ever, he also failed to rule it out, say­ing that he “had not made any de­ci­sions at this point.” Bi­den pre­vi­ously said he would de­cide by Jan­uary whether to run in the elec­tion. A Morn­ing Con­sult-Politico poll con­ducted over the sum­mer con­cluded that Bi­den would beat Trump in a hy­po­thet­i­cal 2020 matchup. Bi­den pre­dicted in Lon­don that the Demo­cratic Party would win con­trol of both the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the Se­nate in the Nov. 6 elec­tions, a con­test that 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 fol­low­ing his ad­dress. Bi­den also re­acted to Trump’s lat­est at­tack on Democrats. USA TO­DAY pub­lished an op-ed by the pres­i­dent on Wed­nes­day in which he claimed the “cen­trist Demo­cratic Party is dead.” The opin­ion piece also touched on health care and im­mi­gra­tion and, say the pres­i­dent’s crit­ics, ap­peared to con­tain fac­tual in­ac­cu­ra­cies. Said Bi­den: “Tell Trump he should hang on.” 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 that “look­ing in­ward, turn­ing in­ward, has never, ever worked for us be­fore.” While Bi­den did not men­tion Trump by name, he said “seven decades of the U.S. un­der­writ­ing global se­cu­rity” was be­ing chal­lenged by a “siren call of phony na­tion­al­ism” with cer­tain po­lit­i­cal ac­tors treat­ing “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, adding that “the sys­tem re­quires con­stant main­te­nance.” He said he be­lieves the world is at an “in­flec­tion point” and that there is a “con­test for the fu­ture” go­ing on. “I have never seen Europe so un­cer­tain and the U.S. in so much doubt,” Bi­den said, re­fer­ring to the U.K.’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.

AP

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

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