PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Joe Biden’s son Hunter made his 2020 presidential campaign trail debut with his father Friday, two weeks after the former vice president praised him for battling through “tough times,” including years of drug and alcohol abuse.
The younger Biden’s appearance at a fundraiser in Southern California on Friday was a sign the former vice president and his campaign see him as an asset to the campaign despite a series of personal problems that had kept him in the background.
Hunter Biden, 49, attended the event with his new wife, Melissa Cohen, and his daughter Finnegan at the home of Pasadena City Councilmember John Kennedy. A campaign adviser confirmed it was Hunter Biden’s first appearance for his father’s 2020 campaign.
A lengthy New Yorker profile published this month detailed Hunter Biden’s yearslong fight with drug and alcohol abuse. Joe Biden said a week later in a CNN interview that “Hunter is my heart” and that “He’s fighting. He’s never given up.”
Hunter Biden stood in a corner of Kennedy’s home behind his father as Joe Biden began speaking to several dozen donors packed into a front room. After thanking the hosts and other notables, he began his remarks before interrupting himself to introduce his son.
“I didn’t introduce my son, Hunter Biden, and my granddaughter are here,” he said. Finnegan had attended a California fundraiser a day earlier with her grandfather, as well as a campaign event in Iowa on Monday.
Hunter Biden mingled briefly after largely staying in the background, though Kennedy drew more attention to him when he insisted that the younger Biden and his wife come to the front of the room.
“Yes, Joe is all the attention, but it’s family. Hunter is part of the family, you’re part of the Biden family,” Kennedy said, gesturing to Hunter Biden’s wife, whom he married in May. “Let’s take this Biden family and take them all to the White House.”
Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa.