Former Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
“I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time,” Biden said in a video announcing his White House bid.
“But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are – and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
His announcement foreshadowed what will be the core message of Biden’s campaign: the Trump presidency has created a state of crisis that only an experienced leader like himself can stop.
“Everything that has made America America is at stake,” Biden said. “That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”
“We have to remember who we are,” he added. “This is America.”
Biden, who is 76-years-old, began his announcement by recounting the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. and Trump’s remark in its aftermath that there were “some very fine people on both sides.”
“With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it,” Biden said. “And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d ever seen in my lifetime.”
The former vice president is planning a multi-week rollout beginning on Monday with a speech in Pittsburgh, Pa. and followed by trips to Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, California and New Hampshire.
ABC News is reporting that he will appear Friday on “The View.”
Biden enters the Democratic primary as a heavyweight in an already crowded field.
But he also enters the race with questions about whether he is progressive enough for a party that has veered left since he was last in the White House and allegations that he inappropriately touched women.
This will be Biden’s third time running for the White House, after unsuccessful campaigns in 1988 and 2008. He ultimately decided to forgo running for president in 2016 after his son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015.
Biden is seen as a candidate who would be able to appeal to white working-class voters and win back voters in Rust Belt states who supported Trump in 2016, and is feared as a serious challenger by some Republicans.