Joe Biden will be running for President of the United States in 2020 — no ifs, ands or buts, at least according to Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s "Hardball."
"I’ve talked to his family. He’s running. OK? Fact," Matthews said Friday following an appearance at NBC10 promoting his new book, "Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit."
Biden, President Obama's vice president and a popular seven-time senator from Delaware, is a "regular guy," Matthews says, who would rather summer at casual Rehoboth Beach than tony Martha’s Vineyard.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
It’s Biden’s everyday sensibility that could help him attract working-class whites, a group Matthews believes Democrats need to woo once again.
"The Democrats gotta get back to being the party of regular people: firefighters, waitresses, cops. Regular people," Matthews said. "I don’t like talking ethnically, but that’s a fact. They’ve lost the working class whites and they’ve got to get them back."
Biden has been opaque about his intentions for the 2020 election cycle. He told Vanity Fair last month that he hadn’t made up his mind.
"I haven’t decided to run. But I’ve decided I’m not going to decide not to run. We’ll see what happens," he said.
A spokesman for Biden told NBC10 Friday afternoon that they had no official comment on Matthews' comments and pointed to Biden's Vanity Fair interview.
Biden has run for president twice, in 1988 and 2008 — the latter ending with him joining Obama’s ticket. He also considered running in the 2016 election. But after delaying a decision for months, he decided to sit out.
He said his family asked him not to run after the May 2015 death of his son, Beau Biden, the former Attorney General of Delaware. It's a decision Biden told NBC Connecticut in January that he regrets "every day" but that was right for his family.
Since leaving the White House, Biden has launched academic centers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Delaware.
Matthews says if the 74-year-old can show he has a youthful mindset and survive inevitable gaffes from slips of his tongue, he could make it to the general election.
"If Joe has the spirit of a young guy, I think he can put together a ticket, perhaps with Kamala Harris from California, and that ticket could be pretty powerful," Matthews said.