Former Vice President Joe Biden has dismissed speculation that he plans to mount a campaign for the 2020 presidential race.
On April 30, Biden spoke during an annual Democratic Party dinner in New Hampshire. The former vice president noted that his appearance was likely to stoke speculation of a potential presidential bid because New Hampshire is an early contest for party primaries.
"When I got asked to speak, I knew it was going to cause speculation," Biden told the crowd, reports The Associated Press. "Guys, I'm not running."
Biden's announcement was met with vocal disappointment, with some attendees booing. Pressing on, Biden stated that he planned to help raise money for down-ballot candidates nationwide and to help foster the upcoming Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.
During his remarks, Biden urged his fellow Democrats to restore dignity to politics.
"I know it seems like we're hopelessly divided," Biden said. "I know it feels like we're hopelessly stuck in a political death match and we can't figure out how to get out of it. But we are better than that. I've always believed that we're strongest when we act as one America."
The former vice president added that he believed the core value of the Democratic Party was to combat abuses of "financial power, psychological power, physical power."
Noting that 172,000 swing voters had helped elect President Donald Trump during the 2016 election, Biden concluded that his party must win back their trust and their support.
"A lot of them wonder whether we've forgotten them," Biden said. "They are being abused by the system. They are as decent as any one of us are. So folks, let's go win it back."
Biden's announcement that he would not seek the presidency shut down mounting speculation that had been swelling earlier that day. Democratic operatives and associates of the former vice president had suggested he was keeping his options open for a campaign, Politico reports.
"He doesn't sit still well," said an anonymous Biden adviser. "He wants to have a voice. The more stuff he does ... the more people hear his voice."
New Hampshire Democratic chair Ray Buckley, who had invited Biden to the state dinner, asserted that the former vice president "would start off with a reservoir of goodwill if he chooses to run."
In December 2016, a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling indicated that Biden was an early front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2020.
From a list that included high-profile contenders such as Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a majority 31 percent of Democratic primary voters said that they would support Biden, Business Insider reports.
Biden had been heavily touted as a potential candidate for the 2016 presidential race, but he withdrew himself from consideration in October 2015.
On March 26, the former vice president explained during an interview at Colgate University that he was confident that he chose not to run in 2016 because he was still mourning the death of his son, Beau Biden.
"Do I regret not being president?" Biden said, according to The Washington Post. "Yes. Do I regret not running for president, in light of everything that was going on in my life at the time? No."