WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden will announce he’s running for president next week, sources tell CBS Philly. Sources say the campaign is planning a video and a rally announcing his bid as early as Wednesday, April 24. Sources also say Biden could make his announcement at the Art Museum steps.
“We’ve been told there’s a possibility he’s announcing next week. We’ve been told there’s a possibility the announcement will be here in Philadelphia. We’ve been told there’s a possibility that he will do his first fundraiser for his campaign in Philadelphia,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
One person told The Associated Press that 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.
CBS News previously reported Biden was in the final stages of preparing for a 2020 presidential run.
During a stop on his book tour last December, Biden said he was the most qualified person to be president.
“I’ll be as straight with you as I can. I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” Biden, the former Delaware senator, said. “The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I’ve worked on my whole life.”
Biden has been mired in controversy recently after being accused of inappropriate touching by several women. Seven women have come forward saying his touching made them feel uncomfortable.
Biden addressed the controversy in a video posted to Twitter.
“I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I’ve ever done,” he said, adding that he’s “never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.”
Rendell says Biden is the best candidate to defeat Trump.
“I also think, objectively, that he was the best vice president in my lifetime. I think he reflects the views of the vast Democratic electorate and I think he would be a strong candidate to both win the nomination and the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump,” said Rendell.
Voters were mixed about Biden running for president.
“I think he should run, 100 percent,” said one person. “I think he has a great chance.”
Another said, “I just think Joe a little too old now for me. He’s a good man, I like him, but let’s give somebody else a shot at that.”
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 “Me Too” era, it’s another example of why critics believe he may struggle to catch on with the Democratic primary voters of 2020.
The Atlantic first reported Biden’s decision.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)