Monday, ex-President Obama tweeted:
I’m proud to endorse my friend @JoeBiden for President of the United States. Let’s go:
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 14, 2020
Fox News reports the Trump campaign argued Tuesday that former President Barack Obama was forced to endorse Joe Biden after sitting on the sidelines for the entirety of the 2020 Democratic primary cycle, noting even Bernie Sanders “beat him to it.”
Obama formally endorsed Biden on Tuesday after withholding support for any candidate for months.
But Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale blasted the move, saying the former president was left with “no other choice.”
“Barack Obama spent much of the last five years urging Joe Biden not to run for president out of fear that he would embarrass himself,” Parscale said Tuesday. “Now that Biden is the only candidate left in the Democrat field, Obama has no other choice but to support him.”
He added: “Even Bernie Sanders beat him to it. Obama was right in the first place: Biden is a bad candidate who will embarrass himself and his party. President Trump will destroy him.”
Sanders, I-Vt., suspended his presidential bid last week and offered his endorsement for Biden on Monday.
Fox News confirmed recently that Obama and Biden have held several conversations in the past couple of weeks. And Biden gave details on one of those conversations, telling donors at a virtual fundraiser earlier this month that he had recently asked his old boss for advice on choosing a running mate.
Last year, the New York Times reported that Obama told Biden, “You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” when discussing his potential 2020 presidential campaign.
In 2016, Obama also reportedly discouraged Biden from running for president, to clear the path for Hillary Clinton to secure the nomination.
Nevertheless, Obama endorsed Biden Tuesday, defending his late public support.
“At the beginning of the Democratic presidential primary process last year, President Obama made clear that he would stay neutral because he believed that, in order for the Democratic Party to succeed in November, Democratic voters would have to select their nominee,” an Obama spokesperson said in a statement.
“The kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience; honesty and humility; empathy and grace – that kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols and mayors’ offices. It belongs in the White House,” Obama said in a video message Tuesday. “And that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.”
Obama added: “Choosing Joe to be my Vice President was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now.”