In a speech from the White House Rose Garden today, Vice President Joe Biden announced he will not launch a bid for the presidency.
With his wife and President Obama by his side, Biden told the crowd:
“I’ve said all along what I’ve said time and again to others, that it may very well be that that process by the time we get through it closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president.”
“Unfortunately I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination.”
And added the clincher:
“I’ve concluded it has closed.”
Speculation has surrounded a potential Biden run since an August column in The New York Times claimed he was urged to run by his dying son, Beau Biden:
“He tried to make his father promise to run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.”
Back in September, Biden explained the factors that would influence his decision on whether to run:
“I will be straightforward with you. The most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run. The honest to God answer is I just don’t know.”
The Vice President hedged on a decision in the months that followed, and at times his polling surged in ways that made him look competitive.
But with Biden’s exit, the race looks to be a tight race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated after publishing.