Former Vice President Joe Biden has stoked plenty of speculation in recent days over whether he’s positioning himself to run for president in 2020.
But in a speech at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual dinner in Manchester on Sunday night, Biden did his best to curb their enthusiasm despite speaking in a key primary state.
“When I got asked to speak, I knew it was going to cause speculation. Guys, I’m not running,” Biden said, drawing boos from the crowd.
Biden, who decided not to challenge Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination following the 2015 death of his son, Beau, said in March that he regrets “not being president” — but doesn’t regret his decision not to run.
“Do I regret not being president? Yes,” he said at Colgate University on March 24. “Do I regret not running for president, in light of everything that was going on in my life at the time? No.”
Earlier Sunday, Politico reported that the 74-year-old and his staff “have been planning a strategic timeline in the event he decides to run” against President Trump in 2020.
“Biden will be 77 by the time of the next Iowa caucuses,” Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote, “but Biden 2020 just might happen.”
In New Hampshire, Biden gave his assessment of Trump’s successful Republican presidential campaign.
“Trump was pretty smart. He made it all personal,” Biden said.
The former vice president also said the Democratic Party needs to return to its core values.
“What’s the core reason why you’re a Democrat?” he asked. “Because you abhor the abuse of power. Whether it’s financial power, psychological power, physical power.”
Biden said Democrats should focus on voters who didn’t vote because they felt like the party has left them behind.
“A lot of them wonder whether we’ve forgotten them. They are being abused by the system. They are as decent as any one of us are,” he said. “So, folks, let’s go win it back.”
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