Biden Expected to Launch Presidential Campaign Next Week - NBC 7 San Diego
Decision 2020

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The latest news on the race for president in 2020

Biden Expected to Launch Presidential Campaign Next Week

The announcement is expected as early as Wednesday and would cap months of deliberation over his political future

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    Biden Expected to Launch Presidential Campaign Next Week
    Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP, File
    In this April 5, 2019, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to join the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential race next week.

    The decision answers one of the most significant outstanding questions of the early presidential primary season, which has already seen announcements from 18 high-profile Democrats. Biden, 76, would be the oldest and most experienced politician in the race.

    His plans were confirmed by three people with knowledge, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The announcement is expected as early as Wednesday and would cap months of deliberation over his political future.

    The specific launch date and location is unclear. Biden is likely to quickly make visits to early-voting states.

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    One person said Biden's advisers are also considering an early event in Charlottesville, Virginia, the site of a deadly clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in 2017. The location would be intended to draw a contrast between Biden and President Donald Trump, who initially said there were some "very fine people on both sides" of the violent confrontation.

    Biden has been particularly outspoken against the rise of white supremacy in the Trump era.

    One of the most recognizable names in U.S. politics, Biden served as Barack Obama's two-term vice president after nearly four decades as a Delaware senator. His high-profile, working-class background and connection to the Obama years would help him enter the race as a front-runner, although he faces questions about his age and whether his more moderate record fits with a party that has become more liberal.

    With a record in elected office that stretches half a century, Biden faces multiple challenges.

    Last month he struggled to respond to claims he touched 2014 Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores' shoulders and kissed the back of her head before a campaign event. A few other women have made similar claims, though none has alleged sexual misconduct.

    The incident is just a taste of the harsh vetting from both parties expected for Biden, who has run for president twice before but never from such a strong political starting point.

    Who’s Running for President in 2020?

    The race for the 2020 presidential election is underway, and the field of Democratic candidates is already packed and still growing. Those who have filed paperwork or announced presidential bids include a vice president, senators, House members and, so far, at least two mayors. As for the GOP, a single Republican has announced his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the party nomination: former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who ran for vice president (and lost) in 2016 on the Libertarian party ticket.

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    Updated May 14, 2019
    Credit: Jo Bruni, Emma Barnett, Asher Klein, Dan Macht, Kelly Zegers / NBC;  Photos: Getty Images

    His first White House bid in 1988 ended after a plagiarism scandal. And in recent weeks, he was repeatedly forced to explain his 1991 decision, as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, to allow Anita Hill to face questions about her allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, then a nominee for the Supreme Court.

    Biden has since apologized for his role in the hearing. But in the #MeToo era, it's another example of why critics believe he may struggle to catch on with the Democratic primary voters of 2020.

    On paper at least, however, he may be well positioned to take on Trump in a general election.

    The Republican president's allies have privately warned that Biden might be the biggest threat to Trump's re-election given Biden's potential appeal among the white-working class in the Midwest, the same region that allowed Trump to win the presidency.

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    Associated Press writers Steve Peoples and Jonathan Lemire in New York contributed to this report. 

    Connecticut Woman Accuses Biden of Inappropriate Touching

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    Amy Lappos, a former aide to Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, is the second woman to share an account of an interaction with former Vice President Joe Biden that she said made her uncomfortable.

    (Published Monday, April 1, 2019)