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Obama endorses Biden for president in long-expected video

Obama endorses Biden for president in long-expected video
Former US president Barack Obama has officially endorsed his former vice president Joe Biden for the 2020 presidential race. The long-awaited anointing came days after challenger Bernie Sanders packed in his own candidacy.

Obama endorsed Biden in a video message on Twitter on Tuesday, calling the selection of Biden as his VP “one of the best decisions I ever made” and referring to the candidate as "a close friend."

Waxing poetic about how Biden was “always asking what every policy would do for the middle class,” Obama praised the candidate for “helping restore America’s standing and leadership in the world” and guide the country through the swine flu epidemic.

Obama alluded to the once-crowded Democratic field, claiming that facing off against some two dozen candidates had made Biden stronger. He spared a few words of praise for Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders and “the energy and enthusiasm he inspired, especially in young people.”

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Obama called on “Americans of all political stripes” to unite to extricate President Donald Trump from the White House - though, as usual, the former president did not utter his successor’s name. Warning that “the other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth,” he hinted that “pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise and spin.”

In what seemed to be a nod to some voters' worries about Biden’s fitness for office, Obama reassured his audience that his anointed successor would “surround himself with good people - experts, scientists, military officials, who actually know how to run the government.

While Obama had long been expected to throw his weight behind his former VP, he made a show during the primaries of keeping his cards close to his chest even as seemingly every candidate ran ads touting their cozy relationship with the first black US president.

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President Donald Trump’s campaign welcomed the development on Tuesday, saying that Obama had spent five years telling his eight-year vice president not to run, and now endorsed him because he had no choice.

“Biden is a bad candidate who will embarrass himself and his party. President Trump will destroy him,” the campaign said in a statement.

Sanders was the last of the challengers to drop out after low voter turnout triggered by the coronavirus epidemic contributed to his lengthy primary losing streak. The Vermont senator has opted to remain on the ballot collecting delegates, claiming he hopes to use those numbers to pressure Biden into shifting his platform leftward at the convention - which has already been postponed once.

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