In London, Joe Biden coy on 2020 presidential run
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 Trump has exited or upended trade pacts, withdrawn from the Iran nuclear agreement, abandoned the Paris climate change accord and exacerbated tensions with European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization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.
Former Vice President Joe Biden predicts the Democrats will capture both houses of Congress on Nov. 6.