Biden announces he’s running for reelection
President Biden is running for reelection. He made it official in a video released Tuesday morning, exactly four years after he tossed his hat into the 2020 race.
In the three-minute video, Mr. Biden repeated some familiar themes, saying, “When I ran for President four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America – and we still are. The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer. I know what I want the answer to be. This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection.”
Over images of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and such Republicans as former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the president said, “MAGA extremists are lining up to take on … bedrock freedoms.”
Later Tuesday, Mr. Biden will be addressing a meeting of labor union leaders in Washington, a nod to one of the most loyal voting blocs of every Biden campaign, and another move similar to his 2019 launch. In the early days of his 2020 campaign, then-candidate Biden traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa., to address a supportive crowd filled with labor union members.
The announcement comes after months of debate among the president’s closest aides and allies and across the Democratic Party. While many Democratic leaders and activists expected Mr. Biden to announce his campaign shortly after the year began, party leaders were anticipating the president would wait until at least the summer, enabling him to continue touting his agenda while Republicans on Capitol Hill squabbled over issues like raising the federal debt limit and as GOP presidential candidates continued sparring in early primary states. The recent indictment of former President Donald Trump also encouraged Democratic Party leaders, who believed Mr. Biden didn’t need to rush with his top potential Republican opponent facing legal peril.
The president spent the past weekend at Camp David with some of his closest advisers, and the topic of a reelection announcement was expected to be a significant part of the agenda.
The president’s campaign is expected to host major campaign donors in Washington this week, with an event including the president on Friday and continuing during the day on Saturday. Top administration officials, including some Cabinet secretaries, will brief donors, according to multiple Democrats familiar with the plans. One of the Democrats said they were invited by way of a phone call — no written invitation is being circulated in order to keep details of the gathering more discreet.
The retreat coincides with the weekend of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, when many top party donors from New York and the West Coast are already scheduled to be in town for various events and the dinner itself.
Should he win the presidency, Mr. Biden, now 80, would be 82 years old at the beginning of a second term and 86 by the end of it. He is already the oldest person ever to win the presidency.
Other longshot Democratic candidates who have already jumped into the race are self-help guru Marianne Williamson and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy.
Trump, now 76, was the first candidate to declare a 2024 White House bid. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is also running, as is former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Other Republicans including DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott have not yet announced whether they will run.
Mr. Biden will run with significant legislative achievements, but even so, high inflation is still hurting American budgets and there is a special counsel investigation into the discovery of classified documents at his former private office and Wilmington home. The announcement also comes as Democrats and Republicans appear to be in a stalemate over how to raise the debt ceiling before the nation risks a potentially catastrophic default.