Elizabeth Warren is latest former presidential rival to back Joe Biden

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FILE- In this Feb. 7, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shake hands on stage before the start of a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Warren has endorsed Joe Biden, becoming the last of the former vice presidents major Democratic presidential rivals to formally back him.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

WASHINGTON – Elizabeth Warren endorsed Joe Biden on Wednesday, the latest of the former vice president’s onetime White House rivals to back him as the Democratic Party moves to project unity against President Donald Trump going into the November election.

“Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire life in public service. He knows that a government run with integrity, competence, and heart will save lives and save livelihoods,” Warren said in a nearly four-minute video announcing her decision. “And we can’t afford to let Donald Trump continue to endanger the lives and livelihoods of every American.”

The Massachusetts senator rose to brief front-runner status in the Democratic race last fall but suspended her campaign last month after a disappointing “Super Tuesday” that included a third-place finish her home state. Warren left the race without endorsing Biden or her fellow progressive Bernie Sanders — but the dynamics changed substantially in subsequent weeks, with campaigning forced into a hiatus amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Sanders dropped out last week and endorsed Biden within days, hoping to persuade his fervent progressive supporters to warm to the more centrist Biden. Former President Barack Obama followed suit on Tuesday. Warren's formal backing doesn't carry the political heft it might have if she had endorsed Biden over Sanders weeks ago. Nonetheless, her announcement now could fuel speculation that Biden may choose her as a running mate.

Indeed, Warren said Wednesday night on MSNBC that she would accept the vice president position if Biden offered it to her.

Biden has said he soon will announce a committee to oversee his vice presidential search.

Biden saluted Warren for the series of detailed policy proposals she released as a candidate and said he will count on her to help rebuild the economy once the threat of the coronavirus lifts.

“She helped set a high-water mark for what our politics can be at their best — authentic and service-oriented, focused on how we can deliver the most help to the most people,” he said in a statement. “I am proud to have Senator Warren in my corner for the fight ahead — not just as we work to defeat Donald Trump in November, but in the years to come, as we push through a bold and progressive policy agenda for the American people.”