‘Yes, my plan is to run’: Biden announces likely 2024 re-election campaign

He was previously expected only to serve one term

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Thursday 25 March 2021 20:16
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Joe Biden will likely run for a second term as president in 2024, he said during a press conference on Thursday, contrasting with previous reports that he’d only run as a one-term unity candidate.

“The answer is yes, my plan is to run for re election,” Mr Biden said. “That’s my expectation.”

He suggested that a re-election bid is not 100 per cent guaranteed though.

“I’m a great respecter of fate,” he continued. “I’ve never been able to plan three-and-a-half years head for certain.”

If he was to run again, the president said, he’d ask Kamala Harris to once again join him as vice president.

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“I would fully expect that to be the case,” he said. “She’s doing a great job. She’s a great partner.”

When asked if he thought he could be running against Donald Trump in 2024, Mr Biden joked he wasn’t sure the GOP would even last that long.

“I have no idea, he said. “I have no idea if there will be  a Republican party. Do you?”

Mr Trump has hinted that he’s considering a 2024 run, but hasn’t outright announced his intentions yet, instead telling interviewers he’s focused on getting Republicans elected during upcoming midterm elections.

Recent polling suggests Mr Trump remains popular with Republicans, while figures like former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are also polling well as potential 2024 GOP candidates for president.

While the focus turned for a moment to President Biden’s future plans, his administration is facing a tough convergence of challenges day-to-day.

The Biden administration has struggled to find adequate space to house the rising number of unaccompanied minors who’ve crossed the border seeking asylum, leading to detaining children longer than legal limits in sub-par conditions, part of a renewed flow of border-crossers after the Biden administration rescinded some of his predecessor’s most hard-line immigration directives.

During the Thursday brief, Mr Biden, echoing the opinion of border experts, said the immigration trends went deeper than any one administration’s policies and were the result of long-running structural challenges in the region.

“It’s because of earthquakes, floods, it’s because of a lack of food,” Mr Biden said. “It’s because of gang violence.”

In fact, the Biden administration has effectively kept in place many of the Trump administration’s harshest immigration policies, including those that pushed asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their legally protected claims to process in the US, and a pandemic-era order effectively shutting down the border altogether.

The president, and Democrats at large, are also facing a wave of bills from Republican-controlled state legislatures that would tighten voting requirements, which they argue is tantamount to voter suppression, especially towards people of colour. Mr Biden compared it to Jim Crow-era segregation and said he knew Republican voters themselves also “find this despicable” during his question-and-answer session on Thursday.

“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is, it’s sick, it’s sick, deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote?” Mr Biden said.

“Deciding that you’re going to end voting at 5pm when working people are just getting off work?” he added.

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