Joe Biden starts his 2020 campaign as a polling leader, but will face immediate tests to see how he fits in with the current Democratic Party.

Joe Biden launched his long-anticipated campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, ending months of speculation and, at various points, doubts about his plans for 2020.

The two-term vice president under Barack Obama announced his candidacy, which he framed as a “battle for the soul of this nation” in a video posted from his social media accounts.

The video begins with Biden speaking straight to the camera about Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists rallied two years ago — “their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging, and bearing the fangs of racism,” Biden says as footage of the riots appears on screen. He then hits President Donald Trump for his response to the protests: “That’s when we heard the words of the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were quote some ‘very fine people on both sides.’ Very fine people on both sides?”

“If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are,” Biden adds later. “And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

Trump welcomed Biden to the race in the president’s customary way: via Twitter and with a nickname.

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