Vice President Joe Biden announced today that he would not enter the presidential race, with the announcement prompting all of the broadcast networks with news operations to break into their regular programming to cover the story, Deadline.com reports.
“It may be the first time they’ve all interrupted regularly scheduled programming to cover someone announcing they are not running for office, and reflects the enormous viewer appetite for POTUS race news,” Deadline reports. “Walking up to the Biden news, TV news talking heads ruminated that the fact he was making [an] announcement from the ‘sacred ground’ that is the White House’s Rose Garden would seem to indicate he had decided not to jump in.”
Appearing with his wife and with President Obama, Biden referenced the death of his son, saying: “As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I said all along … it may very well be that the process, by time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. I’ve concluded it has closed.”
Biden’s son Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer at 46 in May.
Reactions have already begun coming in from the presidential candidates, with a number of them taking to Twitter to comment on Joe Biden’s decision.
Hillary Clinton, whose lead in the polls over rival Democratic contender Bernie Sanders reportedly widened with Biden out of the race, tweeted: “.@VP is a good friend and a great man. Today and always, inspired by his optimism and commitment to change the world for the better. -H”
Sanders also responded, tweeting: “I thank @VP for his continued service to the nation and his support of the middle class.”
And GOP front-runner Donald Trump sent this message via Twitter: “I think Joe Biden made correct decision for him & his family. Personally, I would rather run against Hillary because her record is so bad.”
Deadline notes that recent speculation was trending toward Biden’s entering the race.
“TV news orgs went into overdrive days ago, citing sources ‘close to Biden’ who said he’s [definitely in] for a White House run in 2016 and [he would announce] in the next 48 hours,” the story reports. “That, even after some speculated his opportunity had come and gone with Clinton’s strong performance at the recent Democratic debate on CNN, watched by 23 million viewers. Among those who’d been waiting breathlessly were CBS, which will broadcast the next Dem debate on November 14 in Des Moines, Iowa, in conjunction with CBS affiliate KCCI-TV and the Des Moines Register.”