COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made one of his first stops since he announced he’s running for president of the United States in Columbia on Saturday.
Biden held his event at the Hyatt Park Community Center, and was introduced by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.
“It’s great to be back. You know, the fact is that you know, you’re going to be seeing an awful lot of me," Biden said. "An awful lot of me. Because, I’ll tell you what, I’m going to do everything in my power to earn the respect and the support of the people of South Carolina, because let me tell you something, it’s time for us to come back across the board.”
Biden, 76, immediately went on the attack toward President Trump, but also discussed the economy for the middle class, healthcare, and more.
The former vice president is already the front runner in a crowded field of democratic candidates. This is Biden’s first visit to South Carolina since announcing his candidacy for the 2020 race.
According to the latest polls, already, Biden is shaping up to be the front runner among a crowded field of democratic presidential candidates. Of course, on the other side, it remains to be seen how voters will react to several things.
Biden has faced allegations of unwanted touching, and criticism over the handling of the Anita Hill hearing.
Prior to the event, Biden spoke exclusively to WIS about a myriad of topics, including why he’s running, North Korea, healthcare, and more.
Biden has been accused of having poor judgment on foreign policy and national security. So WIS asked him what needs to be done with North Korea which - just this morning - is accused of test firing short-range missiles - a move that could escalate tensions with the United States.
“The single most significant thing you can do with North Korea is to make sure that we, in fact, are maintaining a strong, strong trilateral alliance with Japan and South Korea number one, that we are in a position that we have air defense capabilities that are both up close and distant that can deal with the threat of their missiles," Biden said.
Biden added that we also have to continue significantly investing in our defensive capabilities. Though he had several supporters at today’s rally, Biden was asked how he plans to win over the more left-leaning part of the Democratic party and at the same time appeal to those Republicans looking for a centrist.
“It’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?" Biden said. "That I am being attacked by Democrats that I’m not left enough and all of a sudden I am a conservative Joe Biden. And the Republicans are saying I’m too liberal. Look, I am what I am you never have to choose between your heart and your soul in my view.”
He also said it’s fair people ask about his age.
“All I say is watch me. Determine whether I have the energy or not to do it," Biden said. "But I have significant experience. I have learned a great deal. I have learned from the past.”
Missed the event? You can watch it here: