Obama endorses ‘good friend’ Biden
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has received his most substantial backing yet in his bid to take on US President Donald Trump in November - that of his old boss.
Former president Barack Obama, who has studiously avoided public comment on the bruising Democratic primary contest, endorsed his friend and former vice president in a video message.
"I am so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States," Mr Obama said.
"Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made.
"He became a close friend and I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now.
"He's someone whose own life has you taught him how to persevere, how to bounce back when you've been knocked down."
It was a significant move from the party's dominant statesman and biggest fundraiser, and came a day after Mr Biden's former main opponent Bernie Sanders endorsed Mr Biden.
The endorsement came earlier than Mr Obama offered in the 2016 race, when he waited until June to back Hillary Clinton over Mr Sanders.
The coronavirus pandemic has altered the course of the 2020 election, forcing the postponement of the Democratic Convention from July to August. It also deprived Mr Biden the opportunity of a high-profile rally with Mr Obama.
Mr Biden has now been publicly supported by every one of his former Democratic rivals except for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The 2020 Democratic field started as the biggest in history, pitting the party's progressive wing against establishment candidates such as Mr Biden.
Far left candidate Mr Sanders, who had been an early front runner, withdrew from the race last week, and offered his endorsement of the moderate Mr Biden on Monday, local time.
"I am asking all Americans, I'm asking every Democrat, I'm asking every independent, I'm asking a lot of Republicans, to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse," Mr Sanders said in a virtual hook up with Mr Biden.
Originally published as Obama endorses 'good friend' Biden