Politics Joe Biden
Joe Biden Susan Walsh/AP

In this file photo, then-Vice President Joe Biden listens during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.

November 04, 2017

Joe Biden will definitely run for president in 2020, MSNBC host says

Former Vice President Joe Biden will run for president in 2020, MSNBC host Chris Matthews declared on Friday.

During an interview in Philadelphia with NBC10, Matthews said he knows for a fact that Biden, a Democrat, has decided to run.

"He is running. I know he's running. I've talked to his people. He's running," said Matthews, who hosts MSNBC's "Hardball."

"I've talked to his family. He's running. OK? Fact."

Matthews was on NBC10 to promote his new book, "Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit."

Biden, Matthews said, is a popular political figure in Pennsylvania and in Delaware, which he represented in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009, when he assumed the vice presidency under former President Barrack Obama.

Biden unsuccessfully sought a place on the Democratic ticket in 1988 and 2008, dropping out both times.

"He's always looked good at the starting gate. He's run a number of times. He starts out well," Matthews said. "He may commit some gaffes. If he can get past the gaffes and shows some vigor, and he can create some excitement, he may well be able to beat the age issue."

Age could be a sticking point for Biden, who turns 75 on Nov. 20. He'll be 78 by Inauguration Day in 2021.

At 70, President Donald Trump was the oldest person elected to the office.

But Matthews didn't appear concerned about all that.

"If Joe has the spirit of a young guy, I think he could put together a ticket perhaps with [U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris] in California, and that ticket could be pretty powerful."

Biden has been unclear about his plans for 2020. Last month, he indicated to Vanity Fair that he hadn't made up his mind.

"I haven’t decided to run. But I’ve decided I’m not going to decide not to run. We’ll see what happens," he told the magazine.

He also told Vanity Fair that he would have sought the nomination in 2016 if his son Beau's cancer hadn't returned. Beau Biden served as Delaware's attorney general from 2007 to January 2015 and was a favorite to win Delaware's 2016 gubernatorial race before he died in May 2015.

Citing Trump's overwhelming small-town and rural support – he won roughly 60 percent of those voters to Democrat Hillary Clinton's 34 percent – in last year's presidential election, Matthews touted Joe Biden as a potential candidate who could win some of those voters back for Democrats in 2020.

"He's a regular person," Matthews said, citing Biden's blue-collar roots in Scranton. "He's not some elitist Hollywood type who goes to Carole King concerts. He's not a Martha's Vinyard guy. He lives at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. 

"He's that regular guy. He's the real thing."

The interview can be found here.