Former President Barack Obama on Friday waded into the burgeoning presidential race by announcing the formation of a Democratic National Committee “unity” fund that will support the party’s eventual nominee against President Trump in 2020.
In an email to Democrats, Obama urged donors to contribute money to the "Democratic Unity Fund," which launched Friday.
“The Democratic Unity Fund is a promise that whoever earns our nomination, he or she will have a strong, united, and well organized DNC ready to spring into action the moment the general election starts – a DNC that’s ready to lift us all to victory in November,” Obama wrote in the email.
The focus on Democratic unity follows the drama in the 2016 Democratic primary, when supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders -- who is running again in 2020 -- accused the DNC of being biased in favor of Hillary Clinton winning the nomination.
More than 20 Democrats are seeking the party’s nomination for president in 2020. Obama has not made an endorsement, though his vice president of eight years, Joe Biden, is running.
Obama's team released a statement praising Biden after he entered the race last month but didn’t offer an explicit endorsement.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made,” Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill said in a statement Thursday morning. “He relied on the Vice President’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today.”
Biden has claimed he asked his former boss not to publicly support him.
"I asked President Obama not to endorse,” Biden told Fox News last month, adding that “whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits.”