Soon after former Vice President Joe Biden officially announced his long-expected 2020 presidential candidacy on Thursday, former President Barack Obama, whom Biden served under for eight years, notably stopped short of endorsing his former VP for the job.
"President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made," Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill told MSNBC in a statement. "He relied on the Vice President's knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today."
Biden promptly trotted out his deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, to inform the mainstream media that he asked Obama not to endorse him.
"The vice president actually asked the president not to endorse," argued Bedingfield, adding, "He wants to make his own case. He is running on an incredibly strong message of wanting to restore the soul of the nation."
Similarly, when Biden himself was pressed by a Fox News reporter about the Obama snub, the former VP claimed, "I asked President Obama not to endorse and he doesn't want to — whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits."
The Internet found Team Biden's repeated line a less than convincing stab at damage control over the snub.
"I told the head cheerleader not to go to the prom with me. I wanted to go by myself," one Twitter user responded.
"Literally laugh out loud," journalist Yashar Ali reacted.
"I have also asked Obama not to endorse me. Reluctantly, he agreed," mocked The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh.
Another Twitter user responded, "I asked Faith Hill to quit asking me out."
Obama will surely throw his weight behind whomever the Democrat Party chooses to be their nominee. But the notion that Biden didn’t want the former president’s endorsement and preemptively asked him not to endorse is, well, hard to accept.
Though Biden was leading most polling concerning the 2020 Democrat nomination even before he officially declared his candidacy, the former VP was plagued with controversies from the far-left base of the party. For example, Biden found himself on the defensive when numerous women accused the Democrat of inappropriately touching them. Additionally, he has been buried in criticism over his anti-woke past takes on issues concerning race and sexual orientation.
In other words, an endorsement from Obama, who is still largely beloved by Democrats, would have been monumentally helpful for Uncle Joe.
Trying to earn Woke points on his own, Biden announced his candidacy on Thursday with a racially charged video, castigating President Donald Trump as a defender of white supremacists based on the president’s "very fine people on both sides" comment following the violent Charlottesville protest.
"In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I'd seen in my lifetime," Biden says in the video, adding that Trump must be stopped in 2020 or "he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are."