‘He’s the Person to Lead Us Through Darkest Times’

WASHINGTON—Just a few days after U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind., Vt.) bowed out of the Democratic primary presidential race, former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden in a video released Tuesday.

Mr. Obama said his former vice president “has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery.”

Sen. Sanders endorsed the former vice president on Monday, a few days after he suspended his campaign.

Sen. Sanders ended his campaign for president last week, leaving Mr. Biden as the apparent nominee.

“Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend,” Mr. Obama said.  “And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president, right now.

“He’s someone whose own life has taught him how to persevere; how to bounce back when you’ve been knocked down.”

“Through all his trials, he’s never once forgotten the values or the moral fiber that his parents passed on to him, and that made him who he is,” Mr. Obama added.

“That’s what steels his faith — in God, in America, and in all of us.”

The former president pointed to Mr. Biden’s role assisting in the recovery from the recession in the late 2000’s, his efforts in combating past outbreaks during their administration, and his work in furthering Obama’s foreign policy agenda.

The former president said he knows Mr. Biden will “surround himself with good people — experts, scientists, military officials, who, actually, know how to run the government and care about doing a good job running the government, and know how to work with our allies, and who will always put the American people’s interests above their own.”

Mr. Biden responded to the endorsement, writing, “Barack, this endorsement means the world to Jill and me.

“We’re going to build on the progress we made together and there’s no one I’d rather have standing by my side.”

Former President Obama had publicly remained on the sidelines as the primary played out, although he offered advice to candidates behind the scenes. In recent weeks, he had several calls with Sen. Sanders, as part of discussions that also included Mr. Biden about how best to unite the party, sources familiar with the discussions told The Black Chronicle last week.

By remaining out of the public spotlight, Mr. Obama hoped to help unify the party once the primary contests had wrapped up.

“Now, Joe will be a better candidate for having run the gauntlet of primaries and caucuses alongside one of the most impressive Democratic fields ever,” former President Obama said.

“Each of our candidates were talented and decent, with a track record of accomplishment, smart ideas and serious visions for the future.

“And that’s certainly true of the candidate who made it farther than any other — Bernie Sanders.”

“Bernie’s an American original — a man who has devoted his life to giving voice to working people’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations,” he continued.

“He and I haven’t always agreed on everything, but we’ve always shared a conviction that we have to make America a fairer, more just, a more equitable society,” the former president went on.

“We both know that nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change,” the former president continued, “and the ideas he’s championed– the energy and enthusiasm he inspired, especially in young people–will be critical in moving America in a direction of progress and hope.”

In recent weeks, former President Obama has ramped up his presence on social media, posting mostly about information on the COVID-19 outbreak that he believes should be widely shared.

Last week, President Donald J./Trump questioned why Mr. Obama had yet to endorse Mr. Biden.

“I’m sure he’s got to come out at some point, because he certainly doesn’t want to see me for four more years,” President Trump said.

“When is it going to happen?,” he added.   “When is it going to happen?  Why isn’t he?”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said that former President Obama had “no choice” but to support Mr. Biden because he’s the lone remaining Democratic candidate standing and that Mr. Trump “will destroy” Mr. Biden this fall.

When former Vice President Biden announced his candidacy, he was soon asked why Mr. Obama hadn’t already endorsed him.

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