CONCORD, N.H. -- Joe Biden said Friday that he welcomes the possibility of billionaire Michael Bloomberg joining the crowded presidential field seeking the Democratic nomination.
"Michael's a solid guy, and let's see where it goes," Biden told reporters after filing paperwork to run in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary in February. "I have no problem with him getting in the race."
The former vice president, who is trying to hold his place as a 2020 front-runner, struck a confident tone about his own prospects and dismissed any suggestion that his campaign is faltering. Bloomberg's aides said Thursday that the former New York City mayor was contemplating a presidential bid because he doesn't see the current field as strong enough to produce a nominee who can defeat President Donald Trump.
"I'm the only person in this race that has significant support in every single solitary sector" of the Democratic electorate, Biden said, pointing at national primary polls. Of talk that his own candidacy is struggling, Biden brushed it aside, saying, "I've been hearing about this for a while now."
Biden emphasized his support among African Americans, Latinos and working-class voters, plus solid standing with women and young voters.
"The Democratic Party is a big tent," he said. "In order to be able to win, you have to be able to reach out and win parts of all of the constituency."
That's a message directed not only at Bloomberg, but also at Biden's progressive primary rival Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator has surpassed Biden in some Iowa and New Hampshire polls to become another front-runner for the nomination, putting pressure on Biden to mount more than what effectively began as a general election campaign against Trump.
Earlier this week, Biden accused Warren of being elitist in her criticism that any Democrat who doesn't back her progressive proposals on health care, education and other matter might be "running in the wrong presidential primary." He and his aides also have become more aggressive in suggesting Warren isn't being honest about the cost of her progressive plans or the likelihood that she could get them passed in Congress.
In New Hampshire on Friday, Biden said he wasn't trying to personally attack the senator; he called her "a very, very, very competent candidate," but said she sets an unfair standard with an ideological purity test.
"I'm not saying she's out of touch," Biden said. "But to turn around and say to the millions of Democrats out there that, in fact, if you don't agree with me, then you are lacking courage ... and you are not a Democrat, that's not how we run the Democratic Party."
Biden aides and donors say they see the nominating fight crystallizing as a choice between the progressivism of Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the more mainstream liberalism of Biden and other candidates like Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana.