Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

President Joe Biden Announces 2024 Reelection Bid

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  • Says battle for nation’s soul isn’t complete

Joe Biden has formally announced his campaign for re-election in 2024, asking Americans for four years to “finish this job”, possibly setting up an extraordinary rematch with Donald Trump.

In a three-minute video opening with pulsing images of the US Capitol attack, Biden warned that the US remains under threat from the anti-democratic forces unleashed by his predecessor, who he beat in 2020.

Biden said: “When I ran for president four years ago, I said we were in a battle for the soul of America – and we still are.”

The president launched his re-election campaign on the fourth anniversary of his return to politics in 2019, when he declared his third presidential run. Biden used a video to formally declare that run. Since then, the political landscape has changed.

The US is still grappling with the scars of a pandemic that killed more than 1.1 million and with inflation that has eased from historic highs but remains painful. Americans remain deeply divided, convulsed by the loss of federal abortion rights, near-weekly mass shootings and worsening climate disasters.

Already the oldest president, Biden would be 86 before the end of a second term, nearly a decade older than Ronald Reagan was when he left the White House in 1989. Trump is 76.

In his video, Biden warned that “Maga extremists” – Trump’s slogan is “Make America Great Again” – were working to strip away “bedrock freedoms”.

“Cutting social security that you’ve paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the very wealthy,” Biden said. “Dictating what healthcare decisions women can make, banning books and telling people who they can love. All while making it more difficult for you to be able to vote.”

The president and his wife, Jill Biden, had made his intentions known for months. But Biden felt little need to rush after a better-than-expected Democratic performance in the midterm elections tamped down calls for a serious primary challenge.

Ultimately, the president chose to wait until after his tour of Ireland, a three-day trip that he said restored his “sense of optimism”. Returning home, he told reporters he planned to “run again”.

The vice-president, Kamala Harris, the highest-ranking woman and person of color in US politics, will be Biden’s running mate again.

Biden is dogged by low approval ratings and concerns about his age. Only a quarter of Americans want him to run again, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Among Democrats, that figure is 50%. Should Biden win the nomination, as expected, most Democrats will support him.

On Tuesday, Biden was due to welcome the president of South Korea. Next month, he will travel to the G7 summit in Japan. His team will begin to formalize the campaign, which is expected to be headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware.


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