Declaring the “soul of this nation” at stake, former Vice President Joe Biden pushed into the crowded 2020 presidential contest and quickly sparked a fierce debate over the direction of the modern-day Democratic Party.

Ignoring the political noise in his own party, Biden aimed directly at Donald Trump in an announcement video seizing on the Republican president’s response to the deadly clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, two years ago.

That was the spur for him to launch a third presidential bid, Biden said, noting Trump’s comments that there were some “very fine people” on both sides of the violent encounter, which left one woman dead.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden greets a few Amtrak employees as he arrives at 30th St. Station after attending a fundraiser in Philadelphia Thursday, April 25, 2019. (Elizabeth Robertson / The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

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