Former vice president Joe Biden appeared to take a step closer on Monday to announcing a run for the presidency in 2020, saying he believes himself to be the “most qualified” person for the job.
“I’ll be as straight with you as I can: I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” Biden said at the Missoula, Mont. stop on a book tour that has stoked speculation about a 2020 run. “No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I’ve been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that I have – even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right but I know a great deal about it,” he said.
“I have two young grandchildren my son left who love me and adore me and want me around. I want to be there to take care of them, so we’ve got to figure out whether or not this is something we can all do as a family,” Biden added. “We’re going to make that decision in the next six weeks to two months, and that’s the basis of the decision.”
Biden’s son, Joseph “Beau” Biden III, died in 2015 at age 46 of brain cancer, leaving behind two children.
“No question,” Biden said last year when asked whether he would have run in 2016 if his son, one of his most energetic supporters, had lived. “I had planned on running, and I wasn’t running against Hillary or Bernie or anybody else. Honest to God, I thought that I was the best suited for the moment to be president.”
Early polls have shown Biden leading the crowded field of potential contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination candidates, which includes Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Corey Booker, and Kamala Harris, as well as Representative Beto O’Rourke, among others.