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Former Vice-President Joe Biden appeared to announce his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, before immediately correcting himself.

Joe Biden made the slip while addressing 1,000 Democrats at a dinner in his home state of Delaware.

The democrat said his record was the most progressive “of anyone running for the United-” before correcting himself and saying, “anybody who would run”.

The audience stood up and chanted “run Joe run”, while the 76-year-old crossed himself and said: “I didn’t mean it!”

Addressing party brokers and leaders in the city of Dover, Joe Biden said that it was time to restore the country’s “backbone”, but that they needed political consensus to move beyond what he called today’s “mean”, “petty” and “vicious” political landscape.

“I’m told I get criticized by the new left,” Joe Biden said, referring to a group of popular new left-wing Democrats that includes congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the United- “

The former vice-president then corrected himself, saying: “Anybody who wouldrun.”

As the diners rose to their feet and chanted “run Joe run”, Joe Biden laughed and insisted: “I didn’t mean it!”

“Of anybody who would run,” he continued.

“Because folks, we have to bring this country back together again.”

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Joe Biden, who was vice-president from 2009 to 2017, added that the 2020 election will be the most important vote in a century.

Speculation that Joe Biden would announce his candidacy has reached feverish levels.

If he were to run, Joe Biden would be entering an increasingly crowded race – with 15 other Democrats having already declared their bids.

Among them are senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders, who ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke joined the race last week.

VP Joe Biden has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor.

President Barack Obama praised Joe Biden for his “faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and your lifetime of service”.

The award comes as both men prepare to leave office when Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20.

The vice-president has said he plans to stay active in Democratic Party politics.

A visibly emotional Joe Biden stood by as President Obama heaped praise on what he called the “best possible choice, not just for me, but for the American people”.

According to the New York Times, the medal was awarded with distinction.

Image source NBC News

That additional honor has been reserved in recent administrations for just a handful of recipients, including Pope John Paul II.

Barack Obama joked that the internet would have one last chance to mock the pair’s “bromance”.

Joe Biden said he was “part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things”.

The vice-president said that he had had no idea the award was coming.

“I had no inkling. I thought we were coming over to Michelle for you, Jill and Barack and I and a couple of senior staff to toast one another and say what an incredible journey it’s been.

“Mr. President, you got right the part about my leaning on Jill but I’ve also leaned on you and a lot of people in this room.

“Mr. President, I’m indebted to you. I’m indebted to your friendship. I’m indebted to your family.”

Barack Obama said that Joe Biden’s career was “nowhere close to finished” both at home or abroad.

The vice-president has said he plans to work on policy issues at institutes at the University of Delaware and University of Pennsylvania, and continue his efforts tackling cancer, which claimed his son Beau in 2015.

Joe Biden gave an hour-long interview with media outlets on January 12 in which he strongly criticized Donald Trump for his condemnation of the US intelligence services.

“It is really very damaging in my view to our standing in the world for a president to take one of the crown jewels of our national defense and denigrate it,” he said.

“It plays into, particularly now, the Russian narrative that America doesn’t know what it’s doing.”

However, Joe Biden was full of praise for his successor, Mike Pence, saying he had sent him memos on how to handle certain situations.