Donors Warned: Biden May Enter Race

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Saturday, 06 Feb 2016 11:54 AM

A prominent backer of the “Draft Biden 2016” movement is gathering support for reviving a push to get Vice President Joe Biden to enter the Democratic primary race as panic grows over Hillary Clinton’s declining ratings against challenger Bernie Sanders.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, businessman Bill Bartmann emailed several Democratic allies Friday urging them to join him in “keeping our powder dry” until they see if the Draft Biden movement should be resurrected, reports Fox News, telling them that “we cannot afford to lose the White House.”

Bartmann said he is concerned by a new Quinnipiac University pollthat shows Clinton up by only two points, at 44 percent to 42 percent, against Sanders, a drastic drop from December, when she was ahead of the Vermont independent senator by 31 points.

In addition, Clinton barely eked out a win over Sanders in Iowa and he is ahead of her by double digits in New Hampshire. Clinton’s camp is discounting the Quinnipiac poll results, saying they believe the race will lean more their way once the primaries move into the southern states where her advantage among African-American voters will push her ahead.

The “Draft Biden” movement was growing last year until the fall when Biden decided against a presidential bid, citing ongoing family concerns after the death of his son, Beau.

He has said in January that he regrets “every day” not running, but “it was the right decision for my family and for me.”

The Draft Biden 2016 movement gained steam for several months last year, but then disbanded in the fall after the vice president mulled a presidential bid and then ultimately decided against it.

Biden said in January that he was sorry that he had not launched a bid.

“I regret it every day, but it was the right decision for my family and for me, and I plan on staying deeply involved,” Biden told NBC affiliate WVIT in Hartford, Connecticut.

Bartmann, the founder and CEO of CFS2, Inc., a consumer financial recovery company, initially donated to the Ready for Hillary PAC but changed his mind in favor of Biden.

At least one of the email’s recipients, Patrick Baskette, told Reuters he does not oppose Clinton or Sanders, but he does not think they offer what Biden can.

“My sitting on the sidelines has a lot to do with my disappointment that the vice president decided not to get in the race,” Baskette, a public affairs consultant from Tampa, Florida and a special assistant to Biden while he was serving in the Senate said.

Another recipient, Gary Hindes, chief executive of the Delaware Bay Company LLC and a former chairman of the Delaware Democratic Party, wrote on the email chain to “count me in.”

“I am hoping that the stars line up right and that Joe becomes the nominee,” Hindes told Reuters. “Sanders is too far to the left,” he said, and he believes Clinton could prove vulnerable.



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