The Republican National Committee hailed Vice President Joe Biden’s decision not to run for president as clearing the way for the most scandal-ridden front-runner.
Biden’s Rose Garden announcement came a day before former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
“The vice president’s decision not to enter the 2016 race is a major blow for Democrats, who now will almost certainly be saddled with their unpopular and scandal plagued front-runner Hillary Clinton,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
“Vice President Biden was the most formidable general election candidate the Democrat Party could have fielded, and his decision not to challenge Hillary Clinton greatly improves our chances of taking back the White House,” Priebus said. “With each revelation about her growing email scandal or conflicts of interest at her State Department, Hillary Clinton is getting more beatable by the day.”
Over at the Democratic National Committee, chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who has been accused by other candidates of facilitating a coronation for Clinton, said she appreciated Biden’s “thoughtful consideration” of a run.
“While Vice President Biden will not be a candidate next year, his unwavering commitment to America’s working families is a legacy each of our candidates will proudly carry forward,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“His voice and support in the upcoming presidential election for whoever emerges as our nominee will be a powerful reminder of how much is at stake for hard working Americans,” she said.
“…I know that Joe Biden’s service to his country will not end when he leaves office, and I look forward to seeing what challenges the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden choose to take on after our next Democratic president assumes office in January 2017.”
Clinton response to Biden’s news came in the form of a tweet: “
@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.”
She later issued a statement noting that Biden “helped save the auto industry and pull our economy back from the brink of depression. He continues to fight for higher wages, safer communities, and a more peaceful world. It’s a record to be proud of, defend, and build on.”
Biden said during his announcement that he wants Democratic candidates to proudly run on the Obama administration record.
“And I am confident that history isn’t finished with Joe Biden,” Clinton added. “As he said today, there is more work to do. And if I know Joe, he will always be on the front-lines, always fighting for all of us.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who faces a greater numbers deficit against Hillary without Biden in the race, noted that Biden is “a good friend” and “has made the decision that he feels is best for himself, his family and the country.”
“I thank the vice president for a lifetime of public service and for all that he has done for our nation. I look forward to continuing to work with him to address the major crises we face,” Sanders said. “He understands the need to rebuild the middle class; and to address income and wealth inequality, a corrupt campaign finance system, climate change, racial justice, immigration reform and the need for publicly-funded higher education.”
Donald Trump tweeted, “I think Joe Biden made correct decision for him & his family. Personally, I would rather run against Hillary because her record is so bad.”