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Joe Biden announces 2020 presidential run

Mr Biden enters the race as a front-runner in a field that now includes 20 candidates.


FORMER US Vice President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, positioning himself as the only candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump.

Mr Biden, 76, plans to frame the race as a battle for the soul of the nation, and will focus his campaign on an agenda of rebuilding and expanding the middle class and bridging the country's partisan divide.

"If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen," Mr Biden said in announcing his decision via posts on social media. "The core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that's made America America is at stake. That's why today I'm announcing my candidacy for president of the United States."

Mr Biden enters the race as a front-runner in a field that now includes 20 candidates, though he no longer appears as dominant as he once did.

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His campaign began months later than many of his backers anticipated, giving opponents a head start in building their teams, raising money and attracting supporters.

After several women came forward in late March to say they'd felt uncomfortable with the way Mr Biden had touched them, some Democrats began to more openly question whether he would be the right candidate to take on Mr Trump.

The former six-term senator from Delaware still leads in many early-state and national polls of primary voters - ahead of his nearest rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. But his edge in many surveys - driven largely by his nearly universal name recognition - has diminished.

He has run for president twice before and this is the first time he's entering the race as a leading candidate, making him a magnet for attacks after encountering little criticism from his fellow Democrats since he became Barack Obama's running mate more than a decade ago. BLOOMBERG

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