Joe Biden has 'real progressive record,' believes he'll announce presidential run soon: Sen. Chris Coons

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden has a "real progressive record of accomplishment" that he "could run on and I hope will run on," Sen. Chris Coons told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday.

Coons, a Democrat representing Delaware who holds Joe Biden's old Senate seat, said he's optimistic Biden will formally announce a 2020 presidential run soon. Despite some stances Biden once held in his long career, Coons said he will run a "very forward-looking and optimistic campaign."

Biden, "will see the divisions in our country and inspire us to heal them. To work together across them and move us into a better future as a country for all of us. There are things that he was involved in, or said, or voted for 25 or 30 or 40 years ago that I expect he will get asked about on the trail. But he has a real and solid record of stepping forward and being a champion for civil rights, for women's rights, for LGBTQ rights."

Coons has guaranteed that Biden is nearing a decision to run for president.

Ahead of a Delaware Democratic Party fundraising dinner Saturday, Coons shared with reporters that Biden told him he was "all-but-certain he is going to run."

Advisers and politicians close to Biden have also said they believe he'll take his chances and run for president amid a crowded field of Democratic contenders.

And Biden himself has hinted at what's to come.

"I'm told I get criticized by the new left," Biden said during a speech at Saturday's fundraising dinner, in reference to claims he would be a more moderate candidate compared to some of the current presidential contenders. "I have the most progressive record for anybody running for the United--"

While cheers erupted around him, Biden quickly clarified his comment, chuckling while he looked down at the podium and crossed himself.

"I didn't mean it," he said. "Of anybody who would run."

Speaking at the International Association of Fire Fighters legislative conference Tuesday, amid chants of "Run Joe Run," Biden encouraged his supporters to save their energy.

"I appreciate the energy when I got up here. Save it a little longer -- I may need it in a few weeks," Biden said Tuesday.

While Biden has some of the most support of the current 2020 hopefuls with a Monmouth University poll released Monday finding that 28 percent of Democrat or Democratic leaning voters surveyed would support Biden for the party's nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll earlier this month hinted that his age may make him less appealing to some voters.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 62 percent of Americans surveyed said that a candidate over the age of 75 gave them some reservations or made them very uncomfortable. Biden is 76 years old.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.