Vice President Joe Biden officially put an end to the speculation on Wednesday, announcing in the White House's Rose Garden that he will not be running for president in 2016.

Flanked by his wife, Jill, and President Barack Obama, Biden said the decision was one he reached with the help of his family, as they "worked through the grieving process" after the death of Biden's son Beau earlier this year. "I've said all along it may be that that process closes the window on running a ... campaign for president," Biden said. "I've concluded it has closed. ... Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination."

Highlights from the first Democratic presidential debate

On Monday, Fox News incorrectly reported that an announcement from Biden officially launching his bid for president was imminent.

Despite his decision, Biden promised that he will not be merely an observer during the 2016 campaign. "While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent," he said, adding that it would be a "tragic mistake" for the next president to undo the policies that have been put in place by President Obama.

Biden also called for an end to the animosity between Democrats and Republicans as the election season heats up. "It's mean-spirited, it's petty, and it's gone on for much too long," he said. "The Republicans are not our enemies. They are our opposition."

Are you surprised by Biden's decision?