(NBC News) Former Vice President Joe Biden has ended months of speculation and formally announced his presidential bid in an online video Thursday morning, saying that “we are in a battle for the soul of this nation.”
In the opening of his announcement video, Biden invoked images of the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one person was killed a white supremacist rammed his car into an opposition group of protesters in 2017.
“We can’t forget what happened in Charlottesville, even more important, we have to remember who we are,” said Biden. “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.”
Biden’s third White House bid comes amidst a jam-packed Democratic field, and despite leading several early primary polls, he will have significant fundraising ground to make up.
He’ll also have to face criticism for supporting the Iraq war and unverified claims from women who say that his touch made them feel uncomfortable.