WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed presumptive nominee Joe Biden for president during a virtual town hall on Tuesday.
“I want to add my voice to the many who have endorsed you to be our president,” said Clinton, after joining the former vice president for an event on women and COVID-19. “Just think of what a difference it would make right now, if we had a president who not only listened to the science, with facts over fiction, but brought us together. Show the kind of compassion and caring that we need from our president, and which Joe Biden has been exemplifying throughout his entire life. Think of what it would mean, if we had a real president — not just somebody who plays one on TV — but somebody who gets up every morning worried about the people that he's responsible for leading during this crisis.”
Clinton’s endorsement of Biden follows those of other high-profile party leaders, including Barack Obama, and the independent Bernie Sanders. It also comes amid new reporting corroborating a sexual assault allegation made against Biden by former Senate staffer Tara Reade.
Biden’s campaign has denied the allegations made by Reade, but the former vice president himself has yet to publicly address them.
“Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bettingfield said in a statement earlier this month.
The allegations did not come up during Clinton’s or Biden’s opening remarks.
Instead, Clinton echoed Obama’s sentiment that Biden would be an effective leader during the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed more than 57,000 Americans.
“For me, this is a moment where we need a leader, a president like Joe Biden,” Clinton said. “I also know a lot about Joe the person. I’ve seen him up close and personal now for many years. We have a lot of the same values in common, the same work ethic, the same belief in America, the same focus on family.”
Hours before the endorsement took place, the Trump campaign lambasted both Clinton and Biden.
“Both of them carry the baggage of decades in the Washington swamp and both of them schemed to keep the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale wrote in an email that did not provide evidence to show that establishment Democrats had rigged the primary process against Sanders. “President Trump beat her once and now he’ll beat her chosen candidate,” Parscale added about Clinton.
New polling shows Biden leading Trump in key battleground states, including ones that narrowly handed Trump the election in 2016, and the president’s approval ratings for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic have dropped over the past two months.
“I can tell you that I wish [Biden] were president right now, but I can't wait until he is, if all of us do our part to support the kind of person that we want back in the White House to end the kind of disregard of not only American values but American institutions, the rule of law and so much else that is at stake, because of the current occupant,” said Clinton.
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