Biden announces re-election bid
US President Joe Biden has formally announced his 2024 re-election bid, a move that had been widely expected for months. The announcement comes despite opinion polls showing that most voters, including a majority of fellow Democrats, did not want the 80-year-old to seek a second term.
In a video statement released on Tuesday, Biden touted his new campaign as a fight for democracy in the US. He said his pledge to fight “for the soul of America,” which was the core message of his 2020 run, remains valid.
“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer,” Biden said in the address. “I know what I want the answer to be and I think you do too. This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for re-election.”
The video comes exactly four years after the launch of Biden’s previous presidential campaign. Vice President Kamala Harris joins him on the ticket again.
The announcement puts Biden on course for a possible rematch against former president Donald Trump, who is viewed as a frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
So far two Democratic challengers have confirmed their bids for the party nomination in 2024. Author Marianne Williamson declared her candidacy in late February, while Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, launched his campaign earlier this month.
As the sitting president, Biden enjoys the support of the party establishment and many leading media outlets. However, public opinion appears to be stacked against his second run.
An poll by NBC News, published on Sunday, showed that 70% of Americans and 51% of Democratic Party voters do not want Biden to seek re-election. His age, perceived unreliability and lackluster performance during his first term were cited among the reasons why people would prefer to have someone else in the race.
At age 80, Biden is already the oldest serving president in US history. Critics believe he no longer has the stamina required for his role, and cite his apparent reluctance to give lengthy interviews as evidence. Biden’s apparent press aversion has not been seen since the Ronald Reagan era.
Trump, who is 76, is facing multiple charges for various alleged misdeeds, but his legal troubles do not appear to be dampening his intention to return to the White House. The divisive politician has claimed he is the victim of a “witch hunt” by the political establishment, particularly the Democratic Party.