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Joe Biden will NOT seek the White House in 2016: Vice President says 'I believe we're out of time' as he ends weeks of speculation
President Obama paid tribute to Vice President Joe Biden and surprised him with a Presidential Medal of Freedom. The vice president then delivered remarks and thanked his family and the president.
BREAKING NEWS: Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau dies at aged 46
Vice President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday afternoon that he is not running for president, ending months of speculation about whether he would challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
He delivered the news against the formal backdrop of the White House Rose Garden with his wife Jill and President Barack Obama at his side.
Supporters have prodded Biden to jump into the race, citing his son Beau's deathbed request that his dad make a bid for the nation's highest political office.
But Biden said 'there is no timetable' for grieving, and his opportunity has passed.
'I believe we're out of time,' he said.
Vice President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday afternoon that he is not running for president, ending months of speculation about whether he would challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. He delivered the news against the formal backdrop of the White House Rose Garden with his wife Jill and President Barack Obama at his side
'As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I've said all along ... 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, 'that it might close.'
'I've concluded it has closed.'
The VP had played it coy for months.
His announcement came just days before the Iowa Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, a marquee event in the state's political season scheduled for Saturday in Des Moines.
Organizers had invited Biden to speak alongside the other Democratic candidates if he entered the race beforehand.
It also comes just 24 hours before Clinton is scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, where Capitol Hill watchers expect a bruising confrontation with Republicans that could leave her a wounded duck going into the weekend.
If Biden had entered the presidential sweepstakes, it would have been his third try, and he would have found himself far behind Clinton in national and early-state polls.
He would also have been more than $75 million behind her in fundraising.
Biden said this morning that he would instead dedicate his final 15 months in office as vice president to finding a cure for cancer, the disease that killed his son.
Present for Biden's remarks were his sister, Valerie, advisers Steve Ricchetti and Ted Kaufman, and many senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Valerie Jarrett, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and more.
The 'Draft Biden' Super PAC positioning itself to support what it was sure would be a 2016 run said in a statement afterward: 'We are so grateful for the gigantic outpouring of support from hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country in our effort to encourage the Vice President to run.
'While the Vice President has decided not to run, we know that over the next year he will stand up for all Americans and articulate a vision for America's future that will leave no one behind.'
The Democratic National Committee said in a statement that while Biden 'will not be a candidate next year, his unwavering commitment to America’s working families is a legacy each of our candidates will proudly carry forward.'
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, himself once a maybe-candidate on the Republican side, found himself in he hot seat on the Fox News Channel as the news came in that Biden would speak.
Bolton dismissed the idea that the vice president could overcome Clinton's lead on his own.
'The only way Joe Biden wins is over Hillary Clinton's political dead body,' he said.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Beau Biden, the 46-year-old son of Vice President Joe Biden, died Saturday after a battle with brain cancer.
The Biden family announced the news around 9:45pm.
In a statement, the Biden family said: 'It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.'
'Broken hearts': The Biden family announced the death of Beau Biden, 46, in a statement Saturday evening
Father and son: Beau is pictured above in 2008 with his father, Joe Biden, who was then a candidate for Vice President
Family: Beau Biden is pictured above with (left to right) his daughter Natalie, son Hunter and wife Hallie
Biden, who lived in Wilmington, Delaware, served as a major in the state's National Guard, and later as the Delaware Attorney General.
He had a mild stroke in 2010, and had surgery at a cancer center in Texas last year.
Earlier this month he was reported to be undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center outside Washington.
Beau - full name Joseph Robinette Biden III - was the Vice President's eldest child, a year old than his brother Hunter.
He and Hunter were both seriously injured in a car crash in 1972, when he was three years old. The crash killed his mother Neilla Biden and younger sister Naomi.
Beau and Hunter were reportedly the ones who helped persuade their father to marry his second and current wife, Jill, five years after the accident.
Beau studied at the University of Pennsylvania and later the law college at Syracuse University in New York. He worked for the Department of Justice for almost a decade starting in 1995.
In 2003 he joined the Delaware National Guard, leading to an Iraq deployment in 2008.
He first stood for Attorney General in 2006, and won re-election in 2010. Come 2014 he said he would not seek a third term. In 2015 he joined the investor law firm Grant & Eisenhofer.
Serviceman: Biden is pictured above in 2009 with his father in Iraq, where his unit of the Delaware National Guard had been deployed
It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.
The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau's spirit will live on in all of us - especially throrugh his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.
Beau's life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo.
A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware's Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.
More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother.
His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father's saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.
In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.
Politician: Beau Biden wa Delaware's Attorney General. He is pictured above in November 2010 with his wife, Hallie, celebrating his re-election