Former Vice President Joe Biden has formally entered the 2020 race for the White House, becoming the 20th Democrat to seek the nomination—the largest field ever for the party. In a campaign video released on social media this morning, Biden took aim at President Trump’s response to the 2017 “Unite the Right” march of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the killing of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer.
Joe Biden: “It was there in August of 2017 we saw Klansmen and white supremacists and neo-Nazis come out in the open, their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging, and bearing the fangs of racism, chanting the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the '30s. And they were met by a courageous group of Americans, and a violent clash ensued. And a brave young woman lost her life. And that's when we heard the words of the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were, quote, 'some very fine people on both sides.' 'Very fine people on both sides'?”
As a longtime senator from Delaware, Biden previously ran twice for the Democratic nomination. Biden’s 1994 crime bill, while implementing sweeping gun control, also helped fuel mass incarceration with financial incentives to keep people behind bars. Biden has long faced criticism for his handling of Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. At the time, Biden was the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Biden is known for close ties to the financial industry, notably helping push through a 2005 bill that made it harder for consumers to declare bankruptcy. He also voted to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. We’ll have more on Joe Biden’s record as a senator and vice president later in the broadcast with journalist Andrew Cockburn.