“Guys, I’m not running,” Biden said on Sunday in New Hampshire at the state party’s annual dinner.
Video from the event showed the crowd first laughing, then groaning and even booing Biden over the decision.
“Run, Joe, run!” someone shouted, according to video posted online by WMUR.
Biden spoke about dignity, optimism and the willingness to do big things, three values he said were not currently part of the national conversation, The Boston Globe reported.
NBC Boston quoted him as saying:
“I know it seems like we’re hopelessly divided. I know it feels like we’re hopelessly stuck in a political death match and we can’t figure out how to get out of it. But we are better than that. I’ve always believed that we’re strongest when we act as one America.”
Biden’s trip to the Granite State, which traditionally holds the nation’s first primaries and is a regular destination among presidential hopefuls, sparked speculation that he was keeping his options open for 2020. While he ruled out running, Biden said he would work to get more Democrats elected.
“I’m ready to help raise money, recruit candidates, campaign ― so is Barack [Obama],” he said, per The Hill.
Biden left office in January with a 61 percent approval rating. He will turn 78 shortly after the 2020 election.