Elizabeth Warren Backs Biden, Extending Display Of Party Unity
Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren formally backed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Wednesday, over a month after she ended her own campaign, extending a string of big endorsements as party leaders rally around the presumptive Democratic nominee.
"In this moment of crisis, it's more important than ever that the next president restores Americans' faith in good, effective government — and I've seen Joe Biden help our nation rebuild," Warren said in a tweet.
Warren also put out a video explaining why she supports Biden, citing his life story and experience in public office.
In this moment of crisis, it’s more important than ever that the next president restores Americans’ faith in good, effective government—and I’ve seen Joe Biden help our nation rebuild. Today, I’m proud to endorse @JoeBiden as President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/VrfBtJvFee— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 15, 2020
"Throughout this primary, there was no competitor more passionate in her convictions or sharper in her arguments than Senator Elizabeth Warren," Biden said in a statement.
"We know how much work it will take to come through this crisis, and I am proud to have Senator Warren in my corner for the fight ahead," he added. Biden also acknowledged Warren's impact as one of the leading women in the Democratic primary field and the party. "Generations of women will be inspired to get involved in public life — to dream big and fight hard — because of Elizabeth," his statement said.
The Massachusetts senator's endorsement is the third high-profile endorsement for Biden this week, following Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday and former President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
Warren led Democratic primary polls for a short period last fall and continued to make waves throughout the campaign by publishing comprehensive policy proposals and having strong debate performances.
After announcing her withdrawal from the race in early March, the progressive thought leader refrained from immediately endorsing a candidate.
Her departure from the race left Biden and Sanders as the two remaining serious candidates vying for the nomination.
In a press conference after ending her campaign in early March, Warren — a candidate well to the left of Biden and one who has been a more enthusiastic supporter of the Democratic Party than Sanders — expressed disappointment in being unable to find a middle ground between the two candidates.
"I was told at the beginning of this whole undertaking that there are two lanes: a progressive lane that Bernie Sanders is the incumbent for and a moderate lane that Joe Biden is the incumbent for. And there's no room for anyone else in this," Warren said in front of her home in Cambridge, Mass.
"I thought that wasn't right, but evidently I was wrong," the senator added.
Warren and Biden clashed at times throughout the primary campaign — notably during the October debate over Biden's role in garnering Senate support for the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency Warren had a principal role in creating.
"I agreed with the great job she did. And I went on the floor and got you votes — I got votes for that bill. I convinced people to vote for it. So let's get those things straight too," Biden said in a raised voice.
Warren responded calmly by thanking Obama for his work on getting the agency passed as well as "every single person who fought for it." Her slight jab back at Biden received an audible reaction from the audience.
Here's that Biden vs. Warren exchange on the CFPB >> pic.twitter.com/NE2fPCwvZO— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) October 16, 2019
Biden and Warren also have a history of disagreement over a 2005 bankruptcy bill — legislation that tightened the requirements to file for bankruptcy.
Biden supported the legislation as a senator from Delaware, home to a number of credit card companies, and Warren, then a professor at Harvard Law School, opposed it. They famously clashed in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill.
This longtime rift changed just over a week after Warren exited the race when Biden announced his support for Warren's proposed bankruptcy plan — which includes removing parts of the 2005 bankruptcy bill.
In the final Democratic primary debate, Biden argued that it was the time to update the 2005 legislation.
"It's a good proposal. It's a solid proposal. And she should get credit for having introduced it," Biden added.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.