LOS ANGELES (CN) – Bolstered by the results of winning delegates from 10 states on Super Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden emphasized America’s need to defeat President Donald Trump whom he described as “an existential threat” during a victory lap before the press in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“Those of you who have been knocked down, those of you who have been counted out – this is your campaign,” said the Democratic front-runner at the W Hotel in West Beverly Hills.
Biden, 77, called his campaign race “the battle for the soul of this nation” and a movement that welcomes all Americans. He said his vision for the country can become a reality if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains in office and Democrats take the U.S. Senate.
While standing next to several constituents, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday afternoon, Biden said he would not allow his campaign to turn into one built on negative messages against his rivals. He did not name Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who along with Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard are the only other Democrats left in a presidential race that was at one time some 24 people deep
Biden remarked that under the Obama administration America’s economy was doing well and more Americans had health insurance. He seemed to long for that era as he said, “We had just gotten the economy up and running again in a big way. And we were about to rebuild the middle class in a way that we should be rebuilding it now.”
While Biden mentioned taking on climate change and the National Rifle Association, he emphasized that Democrats need to “keep their eye on the ball” and remove Trump from the White House.
“I believe people understand the moment we’re in. Donald Trump poses an existential threat to our standing in the world. He’s fanned the flames of hate and sought to divide us,” said Biden. “We watched him insult our allies and embrace demagogues. Without any question our alliances have been weakened.”
While large swaths of the west went to Sanders on Tuesday including California, Utah, and Colorado, Biden’s momentum could not be denied as he swept 10 states. Biden took Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Maine, Arkansas along with Warren’s home state of Massachusetts and former campaign rival Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s home state of Minnesota.
Biden’s surge comes as his rivals failed to gain traction at the polls, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced he would end his campaign and endorse Biden after his dismal results on Tuesday. Bloomberg joined Klobuchar, former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke to throw their support behind Biden.
Sanders continued to lead in polls coming into February, but in the last week the moderate base struck back.
The momentum is clearly in Biden’s favor according to Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, retired professor of the practice of public policy communication at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.
Much of the narrative surrounding Biden’s ebb and flow in polling has played out in headlines, said Jeffe.
“The media really helped with that,” Jeffe tells Courthouse News. “Last week he was dead meat and now he’s the crowned prince.”
Bloomberg’s exit from the campaign trail could also signal a new funding resource for the Biden campaign.
“Trump has to be freaking out about Biden inheriting Bloomberg’s money,” Jeffe said. “His support could come in the form of a Super PAC that could help the Biden campaign in ways that couldn’t have been done before.”
Bloomberg endorsed Biden but said he will support whoever becomes the Democratic nominee, though Sanders has repeatedly said he will refuse Bloomberg’s financial support. When asked about Bloomberg’s endorsement of Biden at a press conference in Vermont on Wednesday, Sanders said, “He certainly brought a lot of money in this race. He certainly made a lot of television networks very, very wealthy and I’m sure they are very disappointed that he is leaving.”
On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a letter that both Sanders and Biden should be considered for U.S. Secret Service protection.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Biden had secured 511 delegates, Sanders 459 and Warren 47 according to the Democratic National Committee. The remaining candidates will move on to primaries in Michigan, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington state.