Joe Biden on his 2020 run and Barack Obama

The former vice president explains why he took so long to announce his presidential run and why he asked former President Barack Obama to not endorse him at this time.
9:12 | 04/26/19

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Transcript for Joe Biden on his 2020 run and Barack Obama
Biden. We're so excited that you're here. Joe, I have to ask you what took so long to get into the race? Let me ask the audience, aren't these campaigns too long to begin with? It's not until February the first vote is cast. I don't think it's too long. I made it clear from the beginning if I was going to do this and the family was pretty sure we were, not to -- I mean, it's a long road. I think this is plenty of time. Plenty of time. You said something yesterday in your announcement video that really brought tears to my eyes. You said we're in a battle for the soul of this nation. I felt that in my soul. What did you mean by that? What I mean by that is we are not -- this is not who we are the way we're treating people. It's not who we are as a nation when we're talking about things like the reason for your problem is the other. It really is what I said and I really mean it and I wrote an article at the time in "The atlantic" magazine when charlottesville happened. This is not who we are. It's about decency, honor, including everyone. The idea to compare these racists and not condemn them and neo-nazis, I don't ever remember that happening in an administration in well over 100 years. I found myself thinking -- by the way I travel around the world a lot as vice president and since then I have as well. The rest of the world -- I mean, they look at us like my god -- What happened to America? You know, joy, you spoke about this. We're not led by the example of our powers, but the power of our example. I mean, your dad, not a joke, your family. It's example. It's why the rest of the world has followed us. They're looking like, my, lord, what's going on. We know you served as president Obama's vice president for the full eight years. Is that a surprise, all eight? You said yesterday I asked president Obama not to endorse. Why? The president and I -- everybody knows -- I think everybody knows we not only served together, our families are close. We became very close personal friends. Some of the vice president scholars have written, I don't think there's any others who grew as close. He's a man of great honor and discipline. He and my wife and Michelle are close friends. They went over to see each other the other day. I didn't want it to look like he was putting his thumb on the scale here and that I'm going to do this based on who I am, not by the president going out and trying to say this is the guy you should be with. That's why I asked him not to. I'm very -- I'm incredibly proud to have served with him. The thing I'm proudest of is we were each in a different part of the country and we were each talking to groups of people that were being televised. Purely coincidentally we were asked what are you proudest of from your administration? You know what I said -- he said the same thing as I did. No one single whisper of scandal. That's because of Barack Obama. I know. He's amazing. Some people blame Hillary's loss and her troubles to the fact she couldn't connect to the blue-collar workers, a group that trump won. It's going to come down to Pennsylvania. That's your state. Aren't you from Scranton? I'm from Scranton. Only two states didn't have their own televisions station, New Jersey and Delaware. I've been covered in Pennsylvania by half the state for my entire career and new Jersey the same. I have -- Philadelphia is, you know, a suburb of Wilmington. I'm joking. We're only 18 minutes apart. How are you going to get those voters? By making the case that we have to restore dignity to work. Think about this. The way we treat ordinary hard-working Americans who are middle class and working class people fighting to get in the middle class is we treat them like they're a means to an end as opposed to an ends to themselves. There's this great quote that says dignity is not treating people as a means to be an ends, but an end to themselves. You all know it. Go out. When's the last time we went out and thanked the guy who kept the sewer from overflowing into your basement. What about the woman up on a bucket reconnecting a connection to a generator, to say thanks. In the last hurricane we were down south trying to figure out how to get more help down there. There was a guy up on a bucket. I came out of a gas station to pay my bill. I walked over and say, hey, man, thanks. Thanks a lot. He said are you kidding me? I said no. He didn't know who I was. He looked at me and say are you serious, man? I said yeah. He said no one ever thanked me before. Think about what we don't do guys. It's all been about dividing. There's real opportunity, incredible opportunity if we just treat more decent. My dad had an expression. He said Joey, a job is about more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity, it's about your place in the community, it's about your place in society and your self-worth. It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say it's okay and mean it. Think about how many people can't do that today. This president has done nothing to help that group. I understand what you're saying it's complicated when it's personal and political. I think a lot of people are asking what do you think the single biggest would be between an Obama white house and a Biden white house? In terms of hopefully acting and dealing with integrity and dealing with -- look, the reason why the president and I got along is philosophically we're in the same place. We disagreed on some things. We had lunch once a week alone for the better part of an hour. We could talk about anything. Argue with one another. When he asked me what is -- is there anything that I'm most concerned about, he said I want to be able to have frank conversations with you. As vice president you don't want to be in a position of publicly disagreeing with the president. But I never, never -- he said I never worry you walk in the oval and not tell me what's on your mind. That's what it was all about. I hope that I've learned from him and that relationship. On a philosophic basis it's about moving to the future. It's about taking the same decency and philosophy, political philosophy, and taking it to the future. They're taking it backwards. We have to go. We have so much more to talk about. I'm so glad you're be here for the rest of the show.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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