The speculation is over: Joe Biden is NOT running for president. The vice president announced his decision at an afternoon press conference in the Rose Garden, with President Obama and wife Jill by his side, reports the Hill. "The window has closed," Biden said of his opportunity to run. "I will not be a candidate." Biden said his family's grieving process over the death of son Beau affected his decision. And now, "we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination."
Biden went on to say that he intends to stay involved in the election, pushing themes consistent with his "middle class Joe" nickname, reports the Washington Post. "I will not be silent," he said, calling income inequality a "fundamental threat to our democracy." The news conference was hastily arranged, but it's not clear when Biden made his decision. The Post notes that he spent the weekend with his family in Delaware, perhaps a "final, critical gut-check moment." Here is the full text of his announcement. (Read more Joe Biden 2016 stories.)