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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand endorses Joe Biden for president

Former 2020 hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed Joe Biden on Thursday, saying he represented experienced leadership and a commitment to equality, despite their debate stage clashes over his views on gender roles.

“I’m proud to endorse @JoeBiden today,” the New York Democrat tweeted Thursday. “Our country needs a president who will provide steady, honest leadership, and I believe Joe has the right experience, empathy, and character to lead. I’m excited to help him defeat Donald Trump in November.”

Biden’s campaign released a longer statement from Gillibrand that said the former vice president would be a “champion for women and families.”

“It is clear that our country desperately needs a president with experience, honesty and integrity — that person is Vice President Joe Biden,” she said. “Not only does Joe have the experience to lead our country, but he has the empathy and character to go with it. Joe will fight for policies that reward work, such as the FAMILY Act, and will be a champion for women and families, workers, and young people.”

The endorsement comes after Gillibrand — who had centered her campaign on equality, especially for women, and released plans on reproductive rights and paid family leave along with a sweeping proposal she called her “family bill of rights” — had bashed Biden on the issue during the July Democratic presidential debate.

Gillibrand argued that Biden was referring to women implicitly when he wrote in a 1981 op-ed opposing a child care tax credit that it would cause the “deterioration of family” — despite him not mentioning women in the piece.

Biden, in turn, noted that both his late first wife and his current wife worked outside the home and that Gillibrand had sought his help on initiatives to protect women and described his work as wonderful.

“I don’t know what happened except you’re running for president,” he added.

Gillibrand continued to repeat the claim following the debate, arguing that “if you have two parents in a family, it’s typically the woman who stays at home,” such that “he could only be referring to women, because that’s the reality when he wrote it and it’s still the reality today.”

When she withdrew from the race in August, Gillibrand planned to endorse another candidate, with an aide telling CNN that she was “not going to rush into that.”

The Biden campaign press release on Thursday said that with Gillibrand’s endorsement, 15 US senators and 13 former Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed him for president.

Gillibrand was not the sole former competitor endorsing Biden on Thursday. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii had announced earlier in the day that she was suspending her campaign and endorsing Biden.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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