Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire, U.S., February 4, 2020. (Reuters)
SOMERSWORTH, N.H. – Former United States Vice President Joe Biden vowed on Wednesday to go on fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination despite what he called the “gut punch” he took in Iowa, where partial results show the political veteran lagging in fourth place.
“I am not going to sugarcoat it: We took a gut punch in Iowa. The whole process was a gut punch,” Biden said in Somersworth, New Hampshire, where he was campaigning. “This isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve been knocked down.”
With 86.1 per cent of precincts reporting from Monday’s caucuses, Biden was behind Pete Buttigieg and U.S. senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the first nominating contest of the 2020 campaign.
Biden, who bills himself as the most electable Democratic candidate to take on Republican President Donald Trump on November 3, led many national polls in the run-up to Iowa and has a host of high-profile endorsements.
But his campaign is in trouble.
“There are an awful lot of folks out there who wrote off this campaign...They’ve been trying to do that from the moment I entered the race. Well, I’ve got news for them. I’m not going anywhere,” Biden said.
In an unusually direct address, Biden took aim at Sanders and at Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as he tried to recover ahead of the New Hampshire state primary next Tuesday.
Biden, 77, said every Democrat running for the House of Representatives or Senate this year would have to carry the label “socialist” if Sanders became the Democratic nominee. An independent, Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist.
Buttigieg, 38, held a narrow lead over Sanders, 78, in the Iowa caucuses, according to partial results released on Wednesday. Problems with an app used for vote counting had delayed a final count. Warren, 70, placed third.
There was more confusion later in the day when the party released new figures showing the four top candidates on roughly the same percentages, but then tweeted that there would shortly be “a minor correction to the last batch of results,” without giving an explanation.
As of early Wednesday evening, the Iowa Democratic Party said 86.1 per cent of precincts had reported their results, showing that Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay U.S. president if elected, had 26.7 per cent of state delegate equivalents, the data traditionally reported to determine the winner. Sanders had 25.4 per cent, Warren was at 18.3 per cent, and Biden garnered 15.9 per cent. (Reuters)