"He’s got 'that thing,' " Fox tells PEOPLE. "He has that history, and he’s been there"

By Sean Neumann
January 09, 2020 11:07 AM

Vivica A. Fox has made her choice in the 2020 presidential election: She’s endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the front-runner to challenge President Donald Trump.

The Kill Bill, Independence Day and Empire actress joins other celebrities that have endorsed political candidates in recent weeks, including TV’s Judge Judy picking former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and soccer star Megan Rapinoe supporting Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Fox, 55, tells PEOPLE her decision to endorse Biden comes down to experience and respect.

“He’s got ‘that thing,’ ” she says. “He has that history, and he’s been there.”

Biden, 77, served two terms as vice president under Barack Obama and before that was a Delaware senator from 1973 to 2009. (He has unsuccessfully run for president twice before as well.)

He opted not to run in the last election, clearing the way for Hillary Clinton to become first woman to earn a presidential nomination from a major political party.

Biden announced his 2020 campaign in April 2019.

“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” he said then. “I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But 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, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

More celebrity endorsements are expected for Biden and the other top candidates as the 2020 primary at last heads into actual voting starting in February. Save the Last Dance star Sean Patrick Thomas is also supporting Biden.

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From left: Vivica A. Fox and former Vice President Joe Biden
Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic; Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Walt Disney Television/Getty

Fox tells PEOPLE that Biden has respect worldwide, something she says that President Trump does not.

“Right now, to me, it seems like the presidency is like a joke. What is really going on?” she says. “That respect and that class is what is lacking that I really feel like Joe Biden has for us and what I want to see in my president.”

Fox says it was frustrating to see such a crowded Democratic field of candidates when she believes the party should be focused on removing Trump from the White House — “It’s like, come on y’all, let’s narrow this down.”

She feels Biden “has the most aggressive plan when it comes to health care, for education, and also helping out the HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities], investing $70 billion as a matter of fact.”

Partially because he’s leading the pack and partially because of his decades-long political record, Biden has been criticized by some for his record on everything from criminal justice to climate change.

“They [other candidates] were attacking him so much, and I hated to see the Democratic Party separated in the way that is was because we really need to concentrate on getting Trump out of the White House,” Fox says.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden
Meg Kinnard/AP/Shutterstock

Last year, Biden also faced controversy about his behavior around women. In March, Lucy Flores wrote an essay in New York magazine about an incident in 2014 before a speech she gave while campaigning for lieutenant governor of Nevada.

Biden kissed her on the back of the head before the speech, leaving her “embarrassed” and “mortified,” Flores wrote.

In a statement, Biden quickly said that through the years he had “offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention. I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear.”

As more women described similar scenes of Biden touching them, drawing them close, usually in a way they did not expect in a public setting, he admitted he needed to adjust his approach.

“The boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying, and I understand it,” he said in a video days after Flores and others spoke out.

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Biden is one of the top Democratic candidates in the field, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Warren and former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Although Fox is also from South Bend, where Buttigieg was the mayor, she says she believes it’s Biden’s time in 2020 and that Buttigieg might make a good vice president first.

“Buttigieg is a breath of fresh air, I get it,” Fox explains. “I love to see that we have an openly gay candidate, but I just don’t think he has enough experience yet.”

Fox feels that Biden, on the other hand, is a veteran politician who has the best chance of defeating Trump in November.

“I just respect him,” she says, “and I believe that he has that respect around the world and he won’t get us embarrassed.”

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