From the outset of the primary season, Obama reportedly planned on withholding his endorsement until after the nominee is chosen. Obama also did not endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton until after she won the nomination in 2016.
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” on Sunday, Biden was asked if his campaign was suffering because Obama had not endorsed him.
Biden said he needs to “earn” the nomination without help from Obama. He added that he believes an Obama endorsement would make it look like he felt “entitled” to the nomination.
“It isn’t hurting me, and I don’t think it’s time. He and I have talked about this from the very beginning. I have to earn this on my own.”
“The first thing everybody said when I announced, the opposition — the Democratic opposition — said was, ‘Well, Biden feels entitled because he’s vice president,” Biden said.
“Imagine had the president endorsed me, it would have been, ‘Well, Biden’s entitled… he thinks he’s entitled because the president endorsed him,” he added.
Watch the interview below:
NEW: @GStephanopoulos: Is the fact that Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed you hurting you, and is it time?— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 1, 2020
Joe Biden: “No, it isn’t hurting me and I don’t think it’s time. He and I talked about this from the very beginning. I have to earn this on my own.” https://t.co/23kgGkwFyy pic.twitter.com/AUrPQx70ow
Additionally, Biden said he is “close friends” with Obama and is confident the former president will campaign for him “full bore” if he wins the nomination.
Obama reportedly called Biden to congratulate him after he scored a big win in the South Carolina primary. However, sources close to the former president said he still plans to withhold his endorsement throughout the primary.
A report in The New York Times said that Obama reportedly told Biden last year, “You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” in an effort to dissuade him from running in 2020.
Biden has previously said he does not need Obama’s endorsement to help him win the nomination, arguing, “Everyone knows I’m close with him. I don’t need an Obama endorsement.”
Instead, Biden said he asked Obama not to endorse him during the primary.