Former Vice President Joe Biden has been slow-walking his all-but-certain 2020 presidential run, but he almost made it official Saturday night.
In a speech at a Dover, Delaware, fundraiser for his home state’s Democratic Party, he said, “I’m told I get criticized by the New Left,” referring to misgivings many progressives have about his record and approach to politics.
He stumbled through his next sentence, saying, “I have the most progressive record of anybody running...” He then promptly corrected himself, adding, “Anybody who would run.”
His friendly audience already appeared on board with Biden, meeting his slip up with a standing ovation.
“We have to bring this country back together again,” he continued after laughing off the flub. “I believe we’re at an inflection point. The election in 2020, without hyperbole, is going to be the most important election this country has undergone in over 100 years.”
Biden contended the stakes are high because under Donald Trump’s presidency, “our core values are being shredded” and “our standing on the world stage is at risk.”
He said that the heads of state with whom he’s met have expressed confusion about the current state of the nation.
Joe Biden: "I'm told I get criticized by the New Left. I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the ... anybody who would run" pic.twitter.com/Y5rqCpxEZR— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) March 17, 2019
“Our politics has become so mean, so petty, so vicious, that we can’t govern ourselves and in many cases even talk to one another, and it can’t go on like this, folks,” Biden said.
Delivering a clear rebuke of Trump, Biden said his administration poses a danger to the country, and that “our democracy is under threat.”
Last week, Biden dropped a broad hint about his political intentions during a speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters in which he thanked union members for their enthusiasm and told them to “save it a little longer” since “I might need it in a few weeks.”
Although Trump has publicly said he thinks he could easily defeat Biden, top aides have had to bolster the president’s confidence in private conversations about his prospects in such a matchup, Politico reported on Friday.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.