WASHINGTON, DC — Former Vice President Joe Biden launch his 2020 campaign for president Thursday even as the seasoned Democrat — widely regarded as among the favorites — faces questions about whether he’s fit for the job in the #MeToo era. Biden released a video announcing his plans before hitting the road for his first scheduled campaign stops.
Biden, 76, enters as a front-runner in the crowded Democratic field that features political heavyweights such as Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, as well as surging South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Biden plans to speak to union workers in Pittsburgh on Monday as part of a launch tour, the source told AP. He could be popular among white, working-class folks in the Midwest. What’s much murkier is whether young people and more progressive voters will view Biden as a viable contender, particularly after three women accused him of inappropriate touching.
Former Democratic Nevada state Rep. Lucy Flores accused Biden of coming up behind her, putting two hands on her shoulders, sniffing her hair and then planting a kiss on the back of her head, all without consent.
Then Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide to Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, said Biden pulled her head toward his at a fundraising event in Greenwich, Connecticut, and rubbed noses with her.
With Biden’s entrance, the diverse Democratic field is largely settled at a bloated 20 candidates. The candidates include six women, five people of color and one member of the LGBTQ community. Biden, a heterosexual white man, would bring the most experience to the race, and would be the second-oldest, after 77-year-old Sanders.
“Come on in, the water is warm Joe,” Harris said with a laugh Tuesday as she campaigned in New Hampshire. “I adore Joe Biden and I think he has to make whatever decision is best for him.”
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