Obama, Biden Criticize President Trump's Coronavirus Response In New Campaign Video

Thursday, July 23rd 2020, 10:07 am
By: CBS News

Former President Barack Obama reunited with his former Vice President, Joe Biden, in a new campaign video for Biden's 2020 presidential bid. In two clips teasing the full video, which drops Thursday, the pair appear to criticize President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The politicians both posted the initial teaser video on Twitter on Wednesday, with Mr. Obama writing, "Doesn't get much better than sitting down to talk with my friend Joe."

The video opens with Biden and Mr. Obama exiting separate cars, both wearing face masks as a voice-over of their conversation plays.

"Can you imagine standing up when you're a president, saying, 'It's not my responsibility. I take no responsibility?'" Biden says. "I mean, literally. Literally."

Mr. Obama responds, "Those words didn't come out of our mouths while we were in office."

The politicians appear to be referring to Mr. Trump's comments in March, when he said he did not take responsibility for the lack of coronavirus testing at the time, as hospitals and health care workers were reporting a shortage of tests.

"No, I don't take responsibility at all," Mr. Trump said about the lag in testing in the U.S. at the time.

Mr. Trump has been widely criticized by his opponents for not doing more to fight the spread of COVID-19 when the pandemic was still in its early stages and for undermining his administration's medical experts

Until recently, the president largely resisted wearing a face covering in public and minimized their importance in slowing the spread of the virus. He has often praised states and governors who have reopened their economies more quickly — many of which are now experiencing a surge in cases.

The video continues, showing Biden and Mr. Obama traveling in separate elevators and greeting each other at a distance. It eventually shows the two men sitting far apart while speaking so as to maintain social distancing.

In the clip, Biden laments that he doesn't understand Mr. Trump's "inability to get a sense of what people are going through," adding that the president "just can't relate in any way."

Mr. Obama responds, "One of the things that I have always known about you, Joe, it's the reason why I wanted you to be my vice president and the reason why you were so effective — it all starts with being able to relate."

"If you can sit down with a family and see your own family in them and the struggles that you've gone through or your parents went through, or your kids are going through — if you can connect those struggles to somebody else's struggles, then you're going to work hard for them," Mr. Obama continued. "And that's always what's motivated you to get into public service."

Biden tweeted that the "full conversation" will be live Thursday at 10 a.m. ET. The tweet also included another clip from the conversation.

In the second video, Biden says that he believes Americans are now realizing Mr. Trump "ran by deliberately dividing people." Mr. Obama says he believes Biden is "going to be able to reassemble the kind of government that cares about people and brings people together."

Mr. Obama gave his long-awaited endorsement to Biden in April and appeared at his first joint fundraiser with his former vice president in June. The virtual event raised a record-breaking $7.6 million, according to The Associated Press.