(CN) — Hillary Clinton formally endorsed fellow Democrat and former Vice President Joe Biden for president during a virtual town hall on Tuesday.
“I am thrilled to be part of your campaign, to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of these issues that are at stake in this presidential election,” Clinton said during a town hall about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women.
Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president of the United States, has a longstanding working relationship with Clinton, who was secretary of state under Barack Obama when Biden was vice president.
“I know a lot of Joe as a person,” Clinton said. “We have a lot of the same values, beliefs and the same focus on family.”
The endorsement is unsurprising not only in the context of the friendliness between Biden and Clinton, but also because Bernie Sanders still consistently draws Hillary Clinton’s ire. She criticized the Vermont senator from Vermont in March touching on their rivalry during the 2016 presidential primary.
Nevertheless, Tuesday marks Clinton’s first official endorsement of the 2020 election cycle.
“Joe Biden is the right person at the right time,” Clinton said.
Clinton joins a litany of Democrats, including Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren and others in endorsing Biden for president.
Clinton cited Biden’s long experience as both a lawmaker and a vice president as qualifications of the Oval Office. She also said his steady calm leadership would contrast favorably with President Donald Trump’s performance in the response to the pandemic.
“Think of what it would mean if we had a real president, not just someone who plays one on TV,” Clinton said.
The two luminaries of the Democratic Party talked about difficulties facing women during the pandemic. Clinton noted women comprise 80% of health care workers, including a vast majority of nurses who are on the front lines of the battle against the pandemic.
Furthermore, many women have lost jobs, seen their salaries slashed and been put under intense pressure to educate their children at home while working due to the closure of schools and day care facilities.
Biden touted his work as the author of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, saying the law has become even more important as the nation and the world has experienced an uptick in domestic violence as families are cooped up in their homes due to lockdown orders.
But both politicians really warmed up to the opportunity to bash Trump as an incompetent and discombobulated leader who consistently demonstrates his insufficiency on a national stage.
When Biden said he wished Clinton were president during the present crisis, the former Democratic nominee said:
“I can tell you one thing, if I were president, I would have at least read the daily intelligence briefings,” Clinton said, eliciting a laugh from the vice president.
Both said Trump’s lack of focus on testing capacity has compounded the problems presented by the virus and that his administration was unprepared despite a bevy of dire warnings from his own intelligence officials in January and February.
Clinton also castigated the president’s approach to bolstering the national economy, saying the recovery act passed in March focused too much on small business loans and without opting for alternative solutions like allowing the government to float the payroll of small businesses throughout the country.
“Too much of the recovery has gone to the wrong people and it’s just shameful,” Clinton said, referring to the fact that wealthy colleges like Harvard and professional basketball teams like the Los Angeles Lakers were allowed access to federal money.
Pundits will be closely watching to see who Biden chooses as his running mate, with some predicting he will make overtures to the progressive wing of the party and other forecasting a pick that will bolster his chances in the pivotal swing states of the Great Lakes region.