Barack Obama endorses Joe Biden for president in video message

The former president throws his support at his former VP and friend, who is now the de facto Democratic presidential nominee

(Photo: Twitter/Barack Obama)

Former President Barack Obama endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, on Tuesday, throwing his full support at Biden’s bid for the White House.

“I’m proud to endorse my friend @JoeBiden for President of the United States. Let’s go,” Obama captioned on Twitter along with a video message.

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Addressing the global coronavirus pandemic that has brought the country to a standstill, Obama expressed the need for leadership “that is guided by knowledge and experience, honesty and humility; empathy and grace” during such a national crisis.

“That kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols and mayors offices, it belongs in the White House,” Obama said. “And that’s why I’m so proud endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.”

Obama’s endorsement comes after Biden’s opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, suspended his presidential campaign, making Biden the de facto Democratic presidential nominee.

READ MORE: Bernie Sanders endorses former Democratic rival Joe Biden

Showing party unity on Monday, Sanders also publicly endorsed Biden during a joint virtual message to voters.

Obama shied away from weighing in on his preferred candidate during the Democratic presidential primary, even as political insiders and pundits continuously questioned why he had not endorsed his former vice president.

Barack Obama Joe Biden

U.S. President elect Barack Obama (L) and Vice-President elect Joe Biden acknowledge their supporters after Obama gave his victory speech during an election night gathering in Grant Park on November 4, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Earlier in the campaign, Biden had said he asked the former president “not to endorse” him.

READ MORE: Bernie Sanders reportedly spoke to Obama before suspending campaign

“Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merit,” the former vice president said, according to CNBC.

Similarly, Obama did not endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 until June when she had secured enough delegates to secure her standing as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

On Tuesday, however, Obama made it very clear that he believed Biden to be the best man for the job.

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