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Joe Biden cheered at Democratic dinner with verbal slip about running for president

Joe Biden's slip about 2020 draws cheers

Former Vice President Joe Biden was cheered Saturday by a crowd at the Delaware Democratic Party dinner where he said he has the "most progressive record of anybody running." He quickly corrected himself and said, "anybody who would run" — and then added, "I didn't mean it."

Biden is one of the last high-profile holdouts in the race for the Democratic nomination after former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced Thursday that he was running for president. Delaware Sen. Chris Coons told CBS News podcast "The Takeout" recently that Biden is "95 percent" ready to run for president and an announcement should be coming "in the coming weeks."

Senator Chris Coons on "The Takeout"

Some of the Democrats who have already jumped into the race have highlighted their progressive records, especially Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. 

Biden has faced criticism from the left-wing of the Democratic party, especially after he called Vice President Mike Pence a "decent guy." He acknowledged in his speech Saturday that he gets criticized by the "new left," but he said "we don't treat the opposition as the enemy."

"We Democrats, we choose hope over fear, we choose unity over division, and we choose truth over lies," Biden said. "Folks it's still our century, we have to remember that."

Joe Biden
Former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the First State Democratic Dinner in Dover, Delaware, on Sat. March 16, 2019. Reuters

Biden also repeatedly railed against President Trump for stoking division and anger.  

"As Americans, we are much bigger than ourselves and this president snares at those values and thinks that we are weak, but he is wrong ... it is these values that make our country strong and you can't define any American by religion race or gender," Biden said. 

Biden, 76, has long been known for gaffes — in 2012, he said he was "absolutely comfortable" with legalizing gay marriage. The comment sent the White House scrambling since then-President Obama had yet to actually publicly declare his support, according to Jo Becker's book "Forcing the Spring." Mr. Obama said later that Biden had "got out a little bit over his skis, but out of generosity of spirit."