Vice President Joe Biden has opted out of the 2016 presidential race.
Biden announced his decision Wednesday in the White House's Rose Garden alongside his wife Jill and President Barack Obama. Biden says he feels it is too late to join the race and notes that he is also still mourning the May death of his son Beau, who passed away from brain cancer. Beau is the second child Biden has lost; his fist wife and daughter passed away in a car accident in 1972.
The top two Democratic candidates in the race former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) have both been in the race since April. In a CNN/ORC poll released Monday, Biden, who has previously run for president twice, garnered 18 percent of respondents' support, while Clinton scored 45 percent and Sanders 29 percent.
Biden says he will, however, be involved in the upcoming presidential election, and highlighted the need to address income inequality and a cure for cancer.
"While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent," Biden said Wednesday. "I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully, to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation."
Biden also called on the Democratic presidential candidates to work with Republicans, instead of going after them, adding that the country has to come together. Political analysts say the statement was a swipe at Clinton who recently said Republicans are her "enemies."
In response to the Biden news, Sanders thanked the vice president for his years of public service, calling him a "good friend."
"I look forward to continuing to work him to address the major crisis we face. He understands that we need to rebuild the middle class and address income and wealth inequality, a corrupt campaign finance system, climate change, racial justice, immigration reform and the need for publicly-funded higher education," Sanders went on to say.