Speed Reads

It's official

Obama endorses Biden, says pandemic is a reminder that 'good government matters'

Now that the Democratic primary has essentially come to an end, former President Barack Obama has officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president.

Obama on Tuesday finally came out with his endorsement, in a video message saying picking Biden as his vice president was "one of the best decisions I ever made."

"I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now," Obama said.

Obama described Biden as an "incredible partner," someone who "has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery" and will "surround himself with good people" who "actually know how to run the government." He also argued Biden's platform is the most progressive in history.

The 44th president spoke on the coronavirus pandemic as well, saying he and former first lady Michelle Obama are praying for those suffering and later arguing the crisis highlights the importance of November's election.

"This crisis has reminded us that government matters," Obama said. "It's reminded us that good government matters, that facts and science matter, that the rule of law matters. That having leaders who are informed and honest and seek to bring people together, rather than drive them apart — those kind of leaders matter. In other words, elections matter."

Obama previously remained on the sidelines during the Democratic primary, reportedly with an eye on later playing the role of party unifier. In his endorsement, Obama called the 2020 Democratic field "one of the most impressive" ever, specifically praising Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), "an American original," and incorporating a phrase used by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) by saying, "Even before the pandemic turned the world upside down, it was already clear that we needed real structural change." Brendan Morrow