Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE says he’s closer to making a decision on whether to run for president in 2020 but hasn’t made up his mind just yet.
At an event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Monday Biden said he is “a lot closer” to making his decision whether or not to enter the growing Democratic primary field, adding that an actual announcement would come “soon,” according to CNN.
“The answer is that I’m running the traps on this. I don’t want to make this a fool’s errand,” Biden said. “I’m a lot closer than I was before Christmas, and we’ll make the decision soon.”
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He said that this election is “critically important” and he wanted to make sure that he is “the right person” before jumping into the race.
“The one thing that’s for certain is we are, in my view, in a battle for America’s soul,” he said, according to the report. “I’m making a decision now whether or not I’m the right person because it’s important, it’s critically important that we change the atmosphere.”
The comments follow statements from close allies of the former vice president last year, who said that Biden would discuss with his family and make up his mind on a potential bid over the December holidays.
“A lot of folks are willing to give him time to decide,” an associate of Biden’s told The Hill last year. “I don’t think anyone is overly worried about the timeline.”
Biden decided not to run for president in 2016 following the death of his son, Beau Biden. In this cycle, he would face a field of high-profile Democrats who have already announced their candidacies, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.).
Some former allies of President Obama have questioned why Biden has waited so long to announce while warning that he places himself at a disadvantage by waiting longer to launch a campaign.
“It’s just so sad, as he could have had the inside track with money now if he had done it differently. Now he’s got no advantage over other candidates with major-dollar donors,” one top Obama fundraiser told The Hill last year.