Obama Was Reportedly Concerned Biden's Presidential Bid Would 'Damage His Legacy'

Sources say the former president tried to talk his VP out of joining the race.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Image via Getty/Cheriss May/NurPhoto

Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Though Joe Biden has remained the frontrunner in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama has reportedly expressed concern over his VP's bid and even suggested he forgo the race.

"You don't have to do this, Joe, you really don't," Obama told Biden early in 2019, according to a New York Times source.

Insiders say Biden wanted to enter the 2016 race, but Obama advised him to sit it out, as he believed Hillary Clinton "had a better chance of building on his agenda." Obama was also reportedly concerned about Biden's mental state and his ability to handle the race following the 2015 death of his son Beau.

Prior to announcing his candidacy back in April, Biden reportedly told Obama that "he could never forgive himself if he turned down a second shot at Mr. Trump." The Times reports that once Obama accepted that Biden was going to run for president, he requested meetings with Biden's top advisers, including the former White House communications director Anita Dunn and Biden's spokeswoman, Kate Bedingfield.

Per the report:

When they were done, Mr. Obama offered a pointed reminder, according to two people with knowledge of his comments: Win or lose, they needed to make sure Mr. Biden did not “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy” during the campaign.

Biden has made several verbal blunders throughout his campaign: He claimed he had met with Parkland survivors while he was serving as vice president, when he had actually been out of the White House for over a year at the time of the shooting. He also said "poor kids are just as bright … as white kids."

Obama has reportedly decided to remain neutral throughout the Democratic primaries, with the intention of throwing his support behind his party's eventual nominee.

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