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DOVER, Del. (CBS) – Former Vice President Joe Biden had a crowd on the edge of their seats Saturday at a gathering of Delaware’s Democratic Party in Dover. He floated the prospect of a presidential run.

There was no official announcement of a 2020 presidential campaign at the First State Democratic Dinner, but Biden did come close – if only by accident.

“I have the most progressive record of anybody running for … anybody who would run,” Biden said.

It was a slight misstep that the crowd embraced.

Biden was the keynote speaker at the gathering, one of full of gentle urging.

“In my humble opinion, we have never needed Joe Biden more than we need him right now,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said.

Biden would enter a crowded field of Democrats pushing for the party’s nomination next year. He spoke of removing the venom from politics and returning to a gentler discourse, calling it the Delaware Way.

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That didn’t stop him from taking sharp aim at President Trump a handful of times, though.

“Fake news has become a phrase of choice for despot terrorizing his people,” Biden said. “The president is systematically tearing down the guardrails of our democracy.”

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Biden’s words ranged, at times, from a whisper to loud shouts as he leaves some members of his party somewhat convinced that he’ll be wading into the battle.

“You build this country, your parents built this country. Ordinary Americans built this country,” Biden said.

In a spread of polls conducted over the past two weeks, Biden places well ahead of the other Democratic contenders. In all but one case he is out in front of the pack.