With the 2016 election still fresh in everyone's minds, members of both major political parties are keenly focused on the rapidly approaching 2020 election. For the time being, President Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican candidate, but who Democrats will back is a little less clear. Many have looked toward the most recent vice president, though he's never given a clear answer about his intentions. On Sunday, however, Joe Biden hinted at a potential 2020 presidential run, and said he will have an update for the country soon.
"It takes time to come back," Biden said in an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC's PoliticsNow. "Look, no man has a right to go say, 'Help me become president,' unless I can look at you and say, 'You’ve got my whole heart, my whole soul, all of my passion, all my attention.' And I know I got to make that decision by, you know, by the end of this year."
Biden underscored that he believes Democrats must win in 2020, but said that he's currently focused on putting his family back together. Biden's son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015, and the former vice president said that the loss has left a whole in not only his heart, but in every member of his family's hearts, too.
The question of Biden's interest in running stemmed from a conversation he and Sharpton were having about how politicians treat marginalized voters — particularly those who are working class. "There are so many, and some elitists — even in my party — who think working class people aren't smart," Biden said. "They think they don't know their own interests, man. They know their interests."
Sharpton used Biden's comments as a way to pivot toward a discussion about the 2020 election. "You have always been passionate about that," Sharpton said. "You have always brought that guy that was ignored and marginalized — black and white — home. That's why a lot of people are saying, 'Why don't you run?."
In the past, Biden has been vocal about the Democratic Party's relationship to working class Americans. During a stump speech in New Jersey in May of 2017, he suggested that Democrats had not been paying close enough attention to those voters and their livelihoods, and effectively called the party to task.
"Because of the negative campaign that [President Donald] Trump ran, how much did we hear about that guy making 50,000 bucks on an assembly line, [and] the woman — his wife — making $28,000 as a hostess?" Biden asked the crowd, according to an NBC report. He continued, "They have $78,000, two kids, [are] living in a metropolitan area, and they can hardly make it. When was the last time you heard us talk about those people?"
During his conversation with Sharpton, Biden said that he knew he was shown to be leading in a number of polls pitting him against Trump and other Democrats in the 2020 election. However, he said, he wasn't putting a lot stock in those numbers just yet. "These polls are showing me winning and all of this stuff," he said. "You and I both know that they don't mean a thing until you're in the grain."
Biden isn't the only big name being circulated on the left as a potential Democratic candidate. While no one has specifically marked their intentions to run, all eyes are still on people like Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, just to name a few. And at the rate that the political news cycle has been refreshing itself, that list could change at the drop of a hat. While Biden has made clear that he won't have an answer about his decision to campaign in the immediate future, he's definitely someone to look out for.