Former President Barack Obama gave his former vice president, Joe Biden, some encouraging words Thursday, but stopped short of endorsing his run for the White House, Politico reports.
Biden officially announced his presidential campaign Thursday morning, saying in a video clip he “cannot stand by and watch” President Donald Trump win re-election.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made,” a spokesperson for Obama, Katie Hill, said in a statement after Biden’s announcement. “He relied on the vice president’s knowledge, insight, and judgment, throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today.”
Obama declined to endorse a candidate in the 2016 race, even his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. One of his former top advisers, David Axelrod, told Politico the former president will almost certainly follow tradition and not endorse a candidate.
“The custom for former presidents is not to endorse presidents,” he said. “The expectation that he would, I find kind of baffling.”
Axelrod added Obama typically thinks a strong primary season will lead to the strongest candidate emerging on top.
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