Hillary Clinton has endorsed presumptive Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden's bid to challenge President Donald Trump in the November elections, saying the US needs a "real president" who "put facts over fiction" and not somebody "who played one on TV".
Announcing her backing for the former US vice president on Tuesday (28 April) during a Biden campaign virtual town hall to discuss the coronavirus and its effect on women, Clinton asserted that he is best suited to lead the country in these challenging times.
"Today I am proud to endorse my friend Joe Biden for President of the United States," the former first lady and secretary of state said.
Clinton criticised President Trump as someone who is so ill prepared to be the commander-in-chief that he appears to be just playing the role on television.
"Think about what a difference it would make if we had a real president, not just one who played one on TV," said 72-year-old Clinton, who headed the Democratic ticket in 2016 but lost to Trump, a Republican.
Trump, 73, is seeking his re-election in the November presidential polls. Biden, 77, is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic party. He is likely to be formally nominated by the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin in August.
"More than ever, these tumultuous times reveal how desperately we need level-headed, solutions-oriented leadership. We need someone who listens to scientists, who acts with kindness and compassion, and who recognises that America can and must lead the world in responding to this pandemic," Clinton said.
The number of people infected by the coronavirus pandemic in the US crossed the one million-mark on Tuesday, while the fatalities spiked to over 58,300, exceeding the number of American soldiers who lost their lives in the two-decade-long Vietnam War.
"I am thrilled to be part of your campaign — to not only endorse you but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake in this presidential election," the former first lady told Biden during the virtual town hall with him.
"I want to add my voice to the many who have endorsed you to be our president," she said.
Biden called Clinton a "friend" and thanked her for the "wonderful personal endorsement."
Biden has already been endorsed by several leaders, including his one-time rivals for the Democratic nomination Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former president Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
During the virtual town hall, Clinton was critical of President Trump's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, the worst hit country.
"Just think what a difference it would make right now if we had a president who not only listened to the science — put facts over fiction — but brought us together, showed the kind of compassion and caring that we need from our president and which Joe Biden has been exemplifying throughout his entire career,” she said.
Clinton served in the US Senate with Biden and was secretary of state for four years when he was former president Obama's vice president.
Reacting to Clinton's endorsement of Biden, Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager, said there is no greater concentration of Democrat establishment than Biden and Clinton together.
“Both of them carry the baggage of decades in the Washington swamp and both of them schemed to keep the Democrat nomination from Bernie Sanders. President Trump beat her once and now he’ll beat her chosen candidate,” Parscale said in a statement.
In an email to her supporters, Clinton said the world today looks very different than 2016.
"Like many of you, I’m concerned -- not only about our current health crisis, but about the deep-seated problems in our democracy that it lays bare, from inequity in our health care system to the high-wire act demanded of too many working parents," she said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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