Vice President Joe Biden will not be running for president for 2016.
In a much anticipated announcement made from the Rose Garden, accompanied by wife Jill Biden and President Barack Obama, Biden announced that the window for him to mount a successful campaign has closed and he will not be pursuing the Democratic nomination.
"As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I've said all along, as I've said time and again to others, that it may very well be that that process by the time we get through it closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president," Biden said in opening his announcement. "I've concluded it has closed."
Biden referenced the recent death of his son Beau Biden, who succumbed after a battle with brain cancer, and the grieving process his family has had to go through in the face of the loss.
Still, the vice president made it quite clear that although he was not running for the chance to be the next president, he would not be steering clear of the debate. "But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent," he declared. "I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation."
Despite his decision not to run, Biden still delivered an impassioned announcement with similarities to a campaign stump speech, in which he discussed the importance of the middle class, as well as the importance of politicians' ability to work together and beyond party lines.
"I believe we have to end the divisive politics. It's mean-spirited. It's petty," Biden said. "I don't think it's naive to talk to Republicans. I don't think we should look at Republicans as our enemy. They're the opposition, not our enemies."
Biden openly praised the progress that President Obama has made with the country, saying that Democrats should defend and protect his record, as well as run on it.
"I believe that President Obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery and we're now in the cusp of resurgence. I'm proud to have played a part in that. This party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy," Biden insisted. "The American people have worked too hard, we've come too far for that. Democrats should not only defend and protect this record. They should run on the record."