Former Vice President Joe Biden vowed a comeback Tuesday as he hosted a kick-off rally for what could be the make-or-break leg of his campaign in South Carolina, after a distant finish in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.
Biden abruptly announced Tuesday morning that he wouldn’t spend primary night in New Hampshire as planned and would instead host the event in South Carolina -- the state he’s long considered his campaign firewall.
But even after early New Hampshire results posted -- showing him badly trailing the leaderboard of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. -- the former vice president still confidently asserted Tuesday night that he would be able to pull out a win.
“We just heard from the first two of 50 states. Not all the nation. Not half the nation. Not a quarter of the nation. Not 10 percent,” Biden said at his South Carolina event. “Where I come from, that’s the opening bell, not the closing bell.”
“The fight to end Donald Trump’s presidency is just beginning," he added.
“It is important that Iowa and New Hampshire have spoken, but we need to hear from Nevada and South Carolina and Super Tuesday and beyond,” he said. “We haven’t heard from the most committed constituents in the Democratic Party -- the African American community -- or the fastest-growing segment of the party -- the Latino Americans.”
Biden went on to describe the importance of the African American and Latino votes, saying that you “can’t be the Democratic nominee and you can’t win the Democratic nomination as a Democrat unless you have the support of black and brown voters.”
“You all know you own my heart,” he said. “You shouldn’t be able to win the presidency without support from black and brown voters.”
He added: “It ain’t over man. We’re just getting started.”
Nevada and South Carolina follow New Hampshire -- which is an overwhelmingly white state -- in the presidential nominating calendar. Biden’s campaign has long considered Nevada and South Carolina, with their far more diverse electorates, as much friendlier ground for the former vice president.
Minutes before, Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, spoke via video message to voters in New Hampshire, and Joe Biden said he’d be back.
“I’ve said it from the moment I [joined] this race, we’re in a battle for the soul of the nation,” he said at the South Carolina event. “We’re going to be back in New Hampshire. We’re going to be back to defeat Donald Trump in November.”
He added: “Don’t go away. We’re coming back. We love you. We’ll see you in the General.”
Neither Biden nor Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was positioned to finish in the top three positions in New Hampshire, according to an early Fox News Voter Analysis.
Meanwhile, the latest Quinnipiac University poll showed Sanders leading nationally, giving the self-declared democratic socialist the chance to claim front-runner status. Biden trailed Sanders’ 25 percent of the vote among Democratic voters, bringing in support from only 17 percent.
Fox News' Allie Raffa, Madeline Rivera and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.