Ralph Reed: Biden is a 'formidable and strong candidate'

Ralph Reed: Biden is a 'formidable and strong candidate'
© Greg Nash
Ralph Reed, head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, said Thursday that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE (D) will be a "formidable and strong candidate" as he seeks the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Reed, an ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE's, told reporters on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" that Biden has a challenging road ahead given how the Democratic Party has evolved. However, he said the former vice president will be a strong candidate for the party's nomination and potentially for the general election.
"Biden will be a formidable and strong candidate for the nomination at the least," Reed, a top voice for the religious right, told a pair of reporters on the program.
He pointed to the former vice president's "distinguished career" in the Senate and in the Obama administration, while noting Biden's previous White House bids.
"He's been around a long time. He's been in public life for almost half a century. As a presidential candidate, he's not had a lot of luck," Reed said, pointing to the plagiarism scandal that derailed his 1988 campaign and his inability to gain traction in the 2008 race. "Today it's a very different situation."
"At least nominally, in terms of polling, he's the front-runner. The challenge will be two-fold. No. 1, the party he's running in now is totally different than the party he ran in in 2007 and 2008," Reed said, pointing to the party's rush to the left in recent years and the changes in fundraising from the big-donor approach to courting small donors online. "It'll be very interesting to see how he's able to adapt to that."
Reed's remarks came just hours after Trump took a shot at the former vice president's intelligence on Twitter.
"Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe," Trump said on Twitter, using the same nickname he had for now-former Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans fret over divisive candidates Everybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (D-Ind.) ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. "I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty - you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!"
Trump over the past month has knocked Biden whenever given the chance, including tweeting a video mocking Biden over allegations of improperly touching women at public events.