Former two-term veep Joe Biden will run for president in 2020, a top Democratic lawmaker told The Hill on Tuesday — the same day a new poll showed him leading the crowded pack of contenders in his party.
“I’m giving it a shot,” Biden told the unidentified lawmaker during a phone call, the website reported.
Meanwhile, a new Morning Consult poll showed Biden, 76, leading Democrats with 31 percent of the vote compared to 27 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 10 percent for California Sen. Kamala Harris and 7 percent for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
It was unclear when Biden would make a formal announcement, and Biden spokesman Bill Russo disputed the report.
“He has not made a final decision. No change,” Russo said.
But at an event with firefighters Tuesday morning, Biden teased the crowd as members chanted, “Run, Joe, run!”
“I appreciate the energy you all showed when I got up here,” Biden said at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ annual conference in Washington, DC.
“Save it a little longer, I may need it in a few weeks. Be careful what you wish for.”
Biden has been unafraid of going after President Trump, including at the firefighters’ event, where he ripped the president’s tax cuts, which he said largely benefited the rich and corporations.
“Now they’ve got to go make somebody pay for it. Something that gave millionaires and billionaires excessive tax breaks. And who do they ask to pay for it? Middle-class families like you,” he said.
“Trading Medicare and Medicaid for tax breaks? How’s that going to help most of the people in this room?”
President Obama’s former vice president, a longtime Delaware senator, also slammed Trump for stoking grievances and divisions.
“In America, everybody gets a shot. That’s what the next president of the United States needs to understand, and that’s what I don’t think this current president understands at all,” he said.
“Unless you think I’m kidding, try to define an America based on race. Try to define an America based on religion, on ethnicity.”
But the longtime pol also a history of comic gaffes, such as when he repeatedly told a wheelchair-bound politician to “stand up” at a rally in 2008.