Biden rides on Obama’s popularity in new election push

Former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to speak at a campaign event at Colwyck Training Center on Tuesday. (AP pic)

WASHINGTON: Joe Biden’s getting a big new assist from his old boss Barack Obama this week in the push to defeat President Donald Trump in just over 100 days.

A preview of a sleekly produced discussion between the former president and vice president that will air Thursday features Biden questioning Trump’s empathy for Americans during the coronavirus crisis.

“He can’t relate in any way,” Biden says.

Obama replies that Biden’s ability to relate to ordinary people was “the reason I wanted you to be my vice president, and the reason why you were so effective”.

The filmed encounter begins with the two men getting out of limousines and wearing masks, before sitting down in a room, mask-free, though at a healthy distance.

Biden leads Trump in the polls but has done almost no in-person campaigning, due to the coronavirus shutdown. At 77, he is in the high-risk category.

While Biden is not seen as an especially charismatic candidate, Obama remains popular and is expected to campaign heavily for his former vice president.