During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Joe Biden will run for office again in 2024. The president’s spokeswoman said that Biden had already said in public that he would run, even though his party has become less interested in him.
When asked if Biden had, as an NBC report from earlier in the day said, told civil rights activist, Reverend Al Sharpton, that he would run again in 2024, Jean-Pierre first seemed to imply that Sharpton knew everything: “If Al Sharpton says it, it’s, you know—” before giving the party line.
She said, “The president has said himself that he plans to run in 2024.” She then tried to explain why she couldn’t give her own opinion on the matter by bringing up the Hatch Act, which says that federal employees can’t take part in political campaigns.
“I’ll just say again what the president has said many times and what I’ve said many times, which is that the president plans to run,” she said in closing, repeating what Biden had said in a 60 Minutes interview last month.
Biden is said to have told Reverend Al Sharpton about it during a meeting at the White House last month. He told Sharpton, “I’m going to do it again. NBC said on Tuesday that the two said, “I’m going,” as they posed for a picture. Before he ran for president in 2020, the former vice president asked Sharpton for advice as a sort of litmus test to see how he would do with black voters, who are a key group for Democrats.
Biden, who would be 86 years old at the end of a second term, has so far done everything he can to avoid running again. Last month, he did say to CBS that he “planned” to run for office again, but he stressed that it was not a “firm decision.”
But House Speaker and key party ally Nancy Pelosi has already started to distance herself from her fellow retired Democrat. When asked directly if she thought he should run, she refused to say. It is said that she is looking into becoming an ambassador in Italy in case her party loses the House in the midterm elections in November. Biden’s approval rating has been low for a long time, but it just went up to 42.1% from 36% in May, which was its all-time low. With the economy being the most important thing on voters’ minds, the president’s failure to get costs under control may have hurt his party in the midterm elections. Both the House and Senate are expected to go to the Republicans. At the same time, Democratic voter enthusiasm has dropped five points in just the last month, and a poll taken last month showed that more than half of party voters wanted Biden to step down at the end of his first term.