Hours before Democrats hold their first debate, a group urging a Joe Biden presidential bid is out with a second ad encouraging him to run.
Draft Biden, a political action committee formed to encourage the vice president to get into the presidential race, released its second new television ad Tuesday, titled “Never Quit.” It features a voiceover of Biden’s remarks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
“You never quit on America and you deserve a president who will never quit on you,” Biden says in the ad, speaking then of President Barack Obama. Like the first ad, it closes with the words, “Run, Joe.”
The group’s first ad, which invoked the death of Biden’s wife and daughter, was pulled last week after a report in the Los Angeles Times made it clear that Biden hoped the ad wouldn’t air.
"The vice president appreciates that they are trying to help," a person close to Biden told the newspaper, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss his deliberations. "But he has seen the ad and thinks the ad treads on sacred ground and hopes they don't run it."
CNN, which is hosting tonight’s debate, has said Biden could participate in the 8:30 p.m. EST event, even if he were to make a last minute decision to attend.
The ad comes as Biden mulls a bid for the presidency with a public and private schedule that has fed the speculation. Talk of a third Biden run for the presidency has grown since August when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported that the former Delaware senator’s son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in May, had, in his final days, urged his father to run for the White House. Biden’s office last week disputed a Politico report that it was Biden who leaked the conversation to Dowd as a way of advancing his presidential ambitions.
Several reports have said Biden failed to make a decision on a run during weekend deliberations with his family.
But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest -- who spent much of Tuesday’s press briefing fielding questions about Biden -- said the grieving vice president can take his time. (Though observers suggest the window to hire staff and get an organization up and running may be closing.)
“The Vice President himself has acknowledged that he'll have to make a decision relatively soon,” Earnest said, adding it’s the White House position that he’ll “be given all of the time and the space that he needs to reach this decision.
Biden had lunch on Tuesday with Obama and was to join a closed door meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch. A Biden spokesperson told CNN that Biden planned to host a high school reunion and then watch the Democratic debate from his home at the Naval Observatory in Washington.