Vice President Joe Biden announced he will not be running in the 2016 presidential race.
The anticipated announcement was made from the White House on Oct. 21. With President Barack Obama by his side, Biden told reporters that the time for his candidacy has passed.
Biden explained that his decision to run was been stalled by his family’s grieving process, following the death of his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, in early 2015.
“I know from previous experience that there is no timetable for this process,” says Biden of grief. “But I also know that I couldn’t do this if the family wasn't ready. The good news is that the family is at that point.”
Concerning the timetable for his rumored presidential bid, Biden said, “I have concluded that it has closed.”
While the vice president has backed out of the 2016 presidential race, he still plans to be a champion for the Democratic Party.
“While I will not be a candidate, I will also not be silent.”
Biden went on to praise what the Obama administration has accomplished for the U.S. He believes Obama has laid “a really solid foundation” for a future president.
“Democrats should not only defend this record, they should run on this record,” Biden declared.
The vice president used the remainder of his time to discuss policies that he believes are important to the American people. This includes evening the odds for the shrinking middle class, extending public education to 16 years, tripling the child care tax credit, drawing down U.S. intervention in world conflicts and ending the political divide.
“We need to end the divisive partisan politics that are ripping this country apart,” says Biden. “I don’t think we should look at Republicans as our enemy. They are our opposition, not our enemies.”
The vice president says his priority going into the final year of his term will be empowering efforts to cure cancer.
Biden also highlighted that government must continue to champion LGBT rights, immigration reform and ending institutionalized racism.
“Every one of these things are about the same thing,” said Biden. “It’s about equality … It’s about affording every single person dignity.”
While Biden claims he is more optimistic about America’s future than he has ever been in his career, he says there is much work to be done.
“There are too many people in America, too many parents, who can’t look their kid in the eye and say ‘honey, it’s gonna be OK,’” said Biden. “That’s our responsibility.”
The media consensus leading up to Biden’s announcement was that he would be running. On Oct. 20, The Washington Post accidentally published a story claiming that Biden would confirm a presidential run, according to The Wrap. That speculation appears to have been mistaken.