DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is endorsing Joe Biden, saying his personal losses give him the "the capacity to comfort" and "the need to heal" a divided nation.
During a rally in Des Moines on Saturday, Vilsack says the former vice president is best able to win the upper Midwest, key to Democrats in 2020.
Vilsack says the deaths of Biden's first wife and infant daughter decades ago and his older son's death from cancer in 2015 make him "a man with empathy, and a man who has the heart of a president."
Vilsack, a former U.S. secretary of agriculture, served with Biden in the Obama administration.
Biden, the early favorite for Iowa's leadoff caucuses, has gradually slipped behind Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren.