Joe Biden enters 2020 race to challenge Donald Trump

Joe Biden has formally entered the 2020 race for president.

The vice president under President Barack Obama made the announcement in a video released this morning.

The move marks what will likely be the 76-year-old's final opportunity to seek a job he has eyed for more than a generation.

One of the most recognisable names in US politics, Mr Biden leads most early Democratic primary polls.

But as an older white man who spent a half-century in Washington, it is unclear if he will be embraced by today's increasingly liberal Democratic Party.

Mr Biden faces myriad questions about his past, including recent claims he touched women in an overly familiar manner without their consent.

Mr Biden has pledged to be "much more mindful" of respecting personal space.

In the video announcing his candidacy, Mr Biden quoted the Declaration of Independence and said that America has not always lived up to the ideals of the document "but we have never before walked away from them".

Showing footage from the Charlottesville rally in August 2017, Biden said: "We saw Klansmen and white supremecists and neo-Nazis come out in the open.

Their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging and baring the fangs of racism, chanting the same anti-Semetic bile heard across Europe in the thirties.

Mr Biden called out President Donald Trump for his response to the rally during which a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, was killed.

"He said there were quote 'some very fine people on both sides'. Very fine people on both sides?

"With those words the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.

And in that moment I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.

Mr Biden warned that if Donald Trump were to be re-elected, he would "forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation".

- Additional reporting by PA

More on this topic

Italy blocks Steve Bannon's plans for right-wing political academy

Former US president Jimmy Carter out of hospital after hip surgery

US to ratify ambassador to Ireland

Biden’s faults may not hinder him because of President Trump

More in this Section

Democrats begin debates for right to challenge Donald Trump for the White House

Denmark’s Social Democrats win backing from partners to form new government

More than 5,000 turtles seized in luggage at Malaysia airport

North Korea and US ‘in talks to set up third Trump-Kim summit’


Lifestyle

Review: Lauryn Hill proves she still has that thing

Darina Allen: A celebration of Irish produce

Gone to pot: Leading psychiatrist on the cannabis debate

Why London is the perfect hunting ground for antique lovers this month

More From The Irish Examiner