WASHINGTON: Former US president Barack Obama formally endorsed Joe Biden's White House bid on Tuesday, saying his longtime deputy can unify and "heal" a nation struggling through some of its darkest moments.
"Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery," Obama said in a 12-minute video.
"I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a President right now," Obama said, adding that picking Biden as his running mate in 2008 "was one of the best decisions I ever made."
On monday, former party rival Bernie Sanders also extended his support to Joe Biden for presidency in a joint online appearance.
“I am asking all Americans, I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans, to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse,” Sanders said.
The backing is a crucial development for Biden, who must bridge the Democratic Party's ideological divide to unify voters against President Donald Trump in the fall.
Biden and Sanders, a leading progressive, clashed throughout the primary over policy issues such as the “Medicare for All” universal health care plan.
The endorsement stands in contrast to the extended 2016 fight between Sanders and Hillary Clinton, who became the nominee that year. Sanders endorsed Clinton, but only after the end of a drawn-out nominating fight and amid a bitter fight over the Democratic platform that extended to the summer convention.