US Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he will not seek the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential race, removing the biggest potential obstacle to party colleague Hillary Clinton for the White House bid.
Biden, 72, appeared in the White House Rose Garden with his wife Jill and President Barack Obama to say the window for mounting a successful campaign had closed, Reuters reported.
“While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent,” Biden said. “I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation.”
Biden had been wrestling with doubts about whether he and his family were ready for a grueling campaign while still mourning his son Beau, who died of brain cancer in May, the report noted.
While making the announcement Wednesday, which ends a highly public political guessing game about his intentions, Biden took a veiled jab at Clinton, saying Democrats would be making a “tragic mistake” if they walked away from Obama’s record.
Clinton had broken with Obama by moving to the left on such issues as the Keystone XL pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
With Biden deciding to forego a run for the White House, Clinton’s prime challenger within the Democratic Party now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
A self-styled democratic socialist, Sanders has galvanized the party’s left wing but has yet to prove he can broaden his appeal.
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