Former President Barack Obama repeatedly urged his former vice president, Joe Biden, not to run for president in 2020, The New York Times reports.
Obama spoke with Biden “at least a half dozen times” before the former veep decided to launch a 2020 presidential bid, according to the report. “Obama “took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms,” The Times reported.
"You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t," Obama told Biden earlier this year.
“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,” The Times reported.
Obama, who has offered to counsel all of the Democrats running for president, has since advised Biden to “expand his aging inner circle” and expressed frustration that Biden’s closest advisers are “too old and out of touch.”
Obama even brought in former staffers to a briefing on the Biden campaign’s communications strategy. Obama told advisers that “they need to make sure Mr. Biden did not ‘embarrass himself’ or ‘damage his legacy’ during the campaign,” The Times reported.
Obama dissuaded Biden from running in 2016 too:
Obama and his top aides have pressured Biden against running before.
Obama’s former campaign manager and senior adviser David Plouffe “shut down an early move made by Mr. Biden as vice president to assemble a presidential team-in-waiting, blocking Mr. Biden’s attempts to court the party’s West Coast fund-raising elite and rejecting an attempt to hire Kevin Sheekey, a veteran Democratic operative,” The Times reported.
In 2016, Obama “quietly pressured” Biden to sit out the presidential 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.”