WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) announces that he will not seek the presidency during a statement with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden of the White House October 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. Citing the death of his oldest child, Biden said he is closing the exploration process of mounting a campaign for the presidency. (Photo : Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Standing aside the man many people expected him to replace, Joe Biden announced Wednesday morning he would not pursue a 2016 presidential bid.
"Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination," Biden said at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. "But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent."
Biden ends months-long speculation as to whether he would challenge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Oval Office. Anticipation of a presidential bid only grew with last week's first Democratic primary debate when Clinton and grassroots candidate Bernie Sanders spoke in front of a national audience for the first time since announcing their candidacy.
Debate purveyor CNN ordered a sixth podium in case Biden made a last-second choice to participate.
The vice president, who twice before ran for president, cited the death of his son, Beau Biden, a the primary reason for his decision.
"As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I've said all along it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president, that it might close," he said. "I've concluded that it has closed."
Democrats, Republicans, and undecided voters alike sent well wishes to Biden via Twitter following the announcement. Clinton, who Biden chided for distancing herself from President Obama, was among the first, saying she was "inspired" by his optimism.
.@VP is a good friend and a great man. Today and always, inspired by his optimism and commitment to change the world for the better. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 21, 2015
I thank @VP for his continued service to the nation and his support of the middle class. — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 21, 2015
I also commend @VP's outlining of an agenda to make college free, fight economic inequality, close tax loopholes & protect dignity for all. — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 21, 2015
Joe #Biden just announced he is not running. I just announced I am not voting. #reconsider — Greg Fitzsimmons (@GregFitzShow) October 21, 2015
I have a feeling Republicans are far more pissed about Joe Biden not running than Democrats are. — Marc (@HumanityPlague) October 21, 2015
@ABC7NY @VP The VP gave an extraordinary speech, If he ran as an Independent he would be the next President. Joe Biden is "People". — Ray/Romeo Ramon (@romeoramon1155) October 21, 2015
Other, like Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul and Donald Trump, weren't as sympathetic.
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 21, 2015
First take: Biden's legacy now tied to Obama's https://t.co/TNa8qRRaMZ Clearly timed for Clinton's #LieFest tomorrow... — James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 21, 2015
Joe Biden announces he's not running for president. The headlines should read: America's Uncle Decides To Take Nap.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) October 21, 2015
@AWiseLatina Joe Biden for President? Media Buzz Ignores How Veep Worsened Student Debt on Big Banks' Behalf — ROBERT JONES (@BLKROCKET) October 21, 2015
#Biden isn't running for president. I guess no one likes perverted old gross uncle Joe Biden the crypt keeper lol. He's 107 and kicking. Poo
— Lesley Bentley (@Fefelove99) October 21, 2015
thank the lord Joe Biden isn't running — Upstate College Girl (@upstatecollege) October 21, 2015
— Muna Adil (@mzam66) October 21, 2015
In other news, Joe Biden will hold a future press conference to announce a decision on future plans that are not yet planned — Tom Thompson (@_Tom_Thompson_) October 21, 2015
I guess I won't have to use my Joe Biden insults now
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonldTrump) October 21, 2015