On the eve of announcing his presidential bid, former Vice President Joe Biden raised the alarm about fundraising in a Wednesday conference call with top donors and supporters.
“The money’s important. We’re going to be judged by what we can do in the first 24 hours, the first week,” Biden told the group, according to one participant, whose recollections of the quotes were confirmed by two others on the call.
“People think Iowa and New Hampshire are the first test,” Biden said. “It’s not. The first 24 hours. That’s the first test. Those [early states] are way down the road. We’ve got to get through this first.”
Biden — noting that “I hate to do this” in discussing the fundraising — said he would be flying around the country for fundraisers with the participants but urged them to do what they can as soon as possible.
“Do what you can right now,” Biden said.
The former vice president is expected to announce his presidential run in a video to be released Thursday.
On the call, an upbeat Biden said his candidacy was a calling, a duty — and that it’s not just Democrats or Americans who want him to run to stop President Donald Trump.
“I get calls from people all over the world — world leaders are calling me — and they’re almost begging me to do this, to save the country, save the world,” Biden said. One of the participants on the call stressed that Biden wasn’t making it sound as though he has a messiah complex, but rather that world leaders are looking toward the Democratic Party to defeat Trump, whether it’s Biden or another Democrat.
Biden on Thursday has his first large fundraiser at Comcast executive David Cohen’s home in Philadelphia along with former Gov. Ed Rendell, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, former state Sen. Connie Williams, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Brendan Boyle, Matt Cartwright, Madeleine Dean, Dwight Evans, Chrissy Houlahan and Mary Gay Scanlon.