Turns out Barack Obama wasn’t too thrilled when his former VP Joe Biden announced he was running for president in 2020.
According to new reports, Obama actually tried to talk Biden out of running!
Apparently concerned about his own legacy, Obama allegedly told Joe,
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” earlier this year, citing that he was worried Biden would “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy.”
With Biden's numerous gaffes-gone-viral so far as he races towards 2020, Obama's fears seem to be coming true!
Biden has faced criticism from both sides of the political spectrum over the questionable things he's said on the debate stage and at rallies.
Things like this:
The New York Times had the following to say about Obama's worries for Biden's run:
In 2016, Mr. Obama quietly pressured Mr. Biden to sit out the race, partly because he believed Mrs. Clinton had a better chance of building on his agenda, and partly because he thought Mr. Biden was in no shape emotionally following the illness and death of his son Beau in May 2015.
By now, the line between heart and head, between the personal and political, so clear a decade ago, has blurred completely.
The two men spoke at least a half dozen times before Mr. Biden decided to run, and Mr. Obama took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms.
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Biden earlier this year, according to a person familiar with the exchange.
Mr. Biden — who thinks he could have defeated Donald Trump four years ago — responded by telling Mr. Obama he could never forgive himself if he turned down a second shot at Mr. Trump.
Mr. Obama has said he will not make an endorsement in the primary, and has offered every candidate his counsel. But he has taken an active interest in the inner workings of his friend’s campaign, to an extent beyond anything offered to other candidates.
In his interactions with Mr. Biden — the pair had a quiet lunch in Washington last month — Mr. Obama has hammered away at the need for his campaign to expand his aging inner circle.
He has communicated his frustration that Mr. Biden’s closest advisers are too old and out of touch with the current political climate — urging him to include more younger aides, according to three Democrats with direct knowledge of the discussion.
In March, Mr. Obama took the unusual step of summoning Mr. Biden’s top campaign advisers, including the former White House communications director Anita Dunn and Mr. Biden’s longtime spokeswoman, Kate Bedingfield, to his Washington office for a briefing on the campaign’s digital and communications strategy with members of his own staff, including his senior adviser, Eric Schultz.
When they were done, Mr. Obama offered a pointed reminder, according to two people with knowledge of his comments:
Win or lose, they needed to make sure Mr. Biden did not “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy” during the campaign.
The Washington Examiner commented:
Former President Barack Obama reportedly told his former Vice President Joe Biden that he didn't "have to" run for president in 2020.
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Obama told Biden earlier this year, according to The New York Times.
Their report goes on to say that Obama quietly tried to convince his vice president to sit out of the 2016 presidential race, arguing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a better chance to build upon his eight years as president. He was also worried about Biden's state of mind following the death of his son, Beau.
Business Insider also said:
Former President Barack Obama and Joe Biden have an extremely close relationship, but that reportedly hasn't alleviated concerns Obama has about the former vice president's 2020 campaign.
Obama spoke with Biden about the prospect of him running multiple times before the former vice president hopped into the race, and "took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms," according to a New York Times report.
A person familiar with the exchange told The Times that Obama said to Biden, "You don't have to do this, Joe, you really don't." But Biden responded that he felt he had an obligation to take on President Donald Trump and that he wouldn't be able to forgive himself if he didn't give it a shot.
Obama has not endorsed anyone in the wide field of 2020 Democrats, but has apparently taken a special interest in his former vice president's campaign.
He is concerned that Biden is relying on advisers who are "too old and out of touch with the current political climate," according to The Times, and has urged the former vice president to hire younger aides.
The report also said Obama asked some of Biden's top advisers to ensure the former vice president doesn't "damage his legacy" or "embarrass himself" during the campaign.