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Obama offers support for Joe Biden, but stops short of formally endorsing his presidential campaign

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4/25/2019 Joe Perticone
Barack Obama wearing a suit and tie © Reuters

Former President Barack Obama expressed support Thursday for Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, but stopped short of an explicit endorsement for his longtime running mate.

Obama, who has remained active in politics since departing office more than two years ago, has offered Biden more than he has to the rest of the Democratic field, as the 19 other candidates are all vying for attention, support, and anything to boost their campaigns.

"President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made," said Obama spokesperson Katie Hill. "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."

Read more: Joe Biden is running for president in 2020. Here's everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.

Obama campaigned on behalf of many high-profile Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections in an attempt to boost support for vulnerable campaigns in the House, Senate, and governorships. Obama can also be a prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and causes, having held events in Washington, San Francisco, and elsewhere since leaving the White House.

Biden announced his run on Thursday in a video, becoming the 20th Democrat to enter the presidential race challenging President Donald Trump.

While Obama has reportedly met with a number of other 2020 Democrats, he has not weighed in publicly on the race thus far and is not expected to give a formal endorsement during the early stages of the primaries.

Read more: Democrats are crowding the 2020 field at a faster pace than ever - signaling many could crash and burn soon

Obama and Biden have a close relationship after serving alongside each other for eight years. Before that, Biden and Obama spent time together in the U.S. Senate.

Their policy visions are similar as well, with Biden having played crucial roles in many of Obama's signature policy achievements during his presidency like the Affordable Care Act, the Iranian Nuclear Deal, and the Paris Climate Accords.

Read more: Democratic candidates are fighting to get enough attention and money to make the first debate stage - here's everyone who's qualified so far

While many of those policies and accomplishments have been dismantled during the Trump presidency, Biden's campaign platform is in many ways functioning as an extension of the Obama era. Meanwhile, other candidates are charging ahead with considerably more expansive proposals like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

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