By JOHN VERHOVEK and MOLLY NAGLE, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Former Vice President Joe Biden and his old boss, former President Barack Obama sat down for a socially distant conversation to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the steps they believe need to be taken to right the American economy.
A minute-long teaser video released by the Biden campaign on Wednesday shows only a brief portion of the in-person discussion, but features both Obama and Biden clad in black face masks as they arrive for the conversation, as the two discuss their incredulity at President Donald Trump’s handling of coronavirus.
“Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying, ‘It’s not my responsibility. I take no responsibility.’ Literally. Literally,” Biden says in the teaser’s open.
“Those words didn’t come out of our mouths when we were in office,” Obama said as the shot of him exiting his car is seen.
“No. I don’t understand his inability to get a sense of what people are going through,” Biden said. “He can’t relate in any way.”
The images are the first of the two men appearing together in person during the 2020 campaign, and come months after Obama formally endorsed Biden in April.
According to Biden’s campaign, the two men also discussed “how the nation is grappling with systemic racism, and the current opportunity to make lasting change rooting out these historic inequities.”
In the preview of their talk, the entirety of which will be streamed Wednesday on both politicians’ social media channels, Obama praised Biden as an “effective” vice president that is able to relate to the struggles facing American families.
“If you can sit down with a family, and see your own family and the struggles that you’ve gone through, parents went through or your kids are going through. If you can connect those struggles to somebody else’s struggles, then you’re going to work hard for it. And that’s always what’s motivated you to get into public service,” Obama told Biden.
The Biden campaign also appears to be using the video as a chance to beef up voter files, asking those interested in the video to text the campaign to be notified when the video goes live.
On Twitter alone, the two will reach nearly 128 million followers when sharing the conversation, with nearly 121 million of those belonging to Obama.
While Obama remained on the sidelines during the Democratic primary race, he has reemerged to offer his support to the man who served alongside him for eight years. Most recently, the two paired up for a grassroots fundraiser in late June that featured a lengthy and wide-ranging conversation.
The event was also Biden’s most successful money event to date, raising more than $11 million.
The new video featuring their chat also comes as Obama is set to participate in his second fundraiser on behalf of the Biden campaign next week.
According to an invitation to the event, obtained by ABC News, Obama will participate in a “virtual conversation” next Tuesday to raise money for Biden’s campaign, which has begun to steadily close the money gap with Trump’s reelection juggernaut.
In a speech in New Castle, Delaware, on Tuesday, Biden assailed Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, casting him as a leader indifferent to the ongoing struggles the virus presents to the public health and American economy.
“For all [Trump’s] bluster about his expertise on the economy, he’s unable to explain how he’ll actually help the working families hit the hardest,” Biden said. “He’s quit on you and he’s quit on this country.”
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