When former Vice President Joe Biden announced in April that he was jumping into the race for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, his former boss Barack Obama put out a statement.
But he didn’t endorse his vice president in the race, instead saying he wanted to stay out of the battle and would support whomever wins the nomination.
Biden, who is touting his experience and expertise gained during his time in the Obama administration, has spoken only glowingly about his former boss. But on Friday, he took aim at Obama.
The former vice president sat down with NPR “Morning Edition” host Rachel Martin on his campaign bus en route to Decorah, Iowa. She asked: “You don’t think Donald Trump has fundamentally changed how the parties talk to each other and whether or not you can cooperate?”
“Donald Trump is the reason why you need someone who knows what they’re doing. Donald Trump,” Biden said. “Name me somebody who’s going to be able to stand on the world stage and immediately command the respect of everyone in the world. Our enemies as well as our adversaries — as well as our allies. I know all these people. This is the only reason why I’m running this time is because of my experience.”
“Well,” Martin said, “Barack Obama was able to do it, and he didn’t have very much experience at all.”
“No, that’s not true. Think about it. That’s not true. What happened was one of the reasons Barack Obama picked me as vice president is because he lacked the background in foreign policy — he’s a brilliant guy. He knew what he wanted to do. He knew how to get it done. But notice, every time we had a problem on Capitol Hill, who went up and got it fixed? Answer the question. Who went up and got it fixed? See you’re not, you know the truth,” Biden said with a smile.
“It’s not my job to answer the question,” Martin said.
“I know it’s not your job to answer,” Biden said.
Watch Joe Biden attack Barack Obama's foreign policy credentials.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 9, 2019
In April, when Biden announced he would be running, Obama issued a statement through spokeswoman Katie Hill.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. 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,” the statement said.
Biden, though, said he had personally asked Obama not to issue an endorsement. “I asked President Obama not to endorse, and he doesn’t want to. Listen, we should — whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits,” he said when asked by reporters why Obama had not endorsed him.
In June, Trump said there was a “big secret” behind Obama not endorsing Biden.
“How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him — there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him,” Trump said outside the Oval Office in an exclusive interview with The Hill.
“He was the vice president. They seem to have gotten along. And how President Obama’s not endorsing him is rather a big secret,” Trump said. “Then he goes and lies and said, ‘I asked the president not to endorse me.’ Give me a break.”