President Joe Biden is running for reelection, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reaffirmed Monday, after being pressed at a briefing over record inflation following a report featuring Democratic fretting about the president’s age.
Jean-Pierre began her response by mentioning limitations on what she can say about politics when speaking from the White House podium when asked directly if the president is running for reelection.
‘He hasn’t – first of all, let’s let’s reset for a second,’ she began. ‘I cannot talk about elections. I cannot be a political analyst from here, or, you know, or the midterms or anything like that, including 2024. The President, as you know, has been asked that question many times, and he has answered it
‘His answer has been pretty simple. Which is yes, he’s running for reelection. I can’t say more than that,’ she said.
‘His answer has been pretty simple. Which is yes, he’s running for reelection. I can’t say more than that,’ White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at Monday’s press briefing
Biden told ABC in December 2021 he would run if he’s ‘in good health.’ Asked if he would run against predecessor Donald Trump, he replied: ‘Why would I not run against Donald Trump as the nominee? That would increase the prospect of running.’
Jean-Pierre had a curt answer when asked about Biden’s consistently low approval ratings, which have dropped below 40 per cent.
‘The President’s focus on delivering for the American people that’s his focus right now,’ she said.
Biden’s approval rating stands at 39 per cent in the RealClearPolitics polling average. He has been underwater since August 2021, and now must confront record inflation, food shortages, gun violence, a war in Ukraine and a host of other issues, along with concerns about his age that party faithful might be more willing to overlook if he had better numbers heading into midterm elections where the party in power usually suffers losses.
There was a new round of scrutiny about Biden’s age at the start of the week after the New York Times quoted a mix of rank-and-file Democrats and senior figures raising concerns about the issue as the mid-term elections approach.
The paper’s Sunday front page treatment of the subject that dogged Biden, 79, throughout his most recent presidential campaign, comes amid low approval ratings and fears among some Democrats that he remains vulnerable to a restoration effort by former President Donald Trump.
‘I need an equivalent of Ron DeSantis, a Democrat, but not a 70- or 80-year-old — a younger person,’ Maryland data analyst Alex Wyshyvanuk, 33, told the paper. ‘Someone who knows what worked for you in 1980 is not going to work for you in 2022 or 2024,’ he said.
A new report featured concerns about President Joe Biden’s age, as his party faces serious headwinds heading into the midterms
DeSantis, 43, is the Florida governor who’s ability to grab headlines and rise in the polls has caught the attention of Trump’s circle.
The paper also quoted a Democratic National Committee member from Florida, Steve Simionidis, saying Biden ‘should announce his intent not to seek re-election in ’24 right after the midterms.’
But the publication cited ‘deep concern’ about Biden’s political viability among dozens of officials who would not provide on-record comments. Biden would be 82 at the time of the next Inauguration Day. The airing of concerns comes at a time when the House Jan. 6 committee was busy laying out evidence gleaned from hundreds of interviews about Trump’s election overturn effort.
‘The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue,’ said David Axelrod, 67, who helped propel Barack Obama’s ascent with a campaign that featured youghful energy and a ‘hope’ slogan. Obama was 47 when he took office, after failing to complete his first term in the Senate.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been hammering political enemies and drawing attention as a possible GOP presidential candidate or challenger to Trump
President Donald Trump has repeatedly raised questions about Biden’s mental capacity, although former AG testified about Trump’s belief in voter fraud claims: ‘He’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff’
Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term
The story set off a new round of speculation about Biden’s age, amid fretting that his age, amid record inflation, a war in Ukraine, and a now tumbling stock market could imperil an effort to beat back Trump.
Axios chimed in with a story on the American gerontocracy, noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 82 and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer is 71.
Even longtime commentator David Gergen, 80, told PBS NewsHour: ‘I think people like Biden and Trump ought to both step back and leave open the door to younger people.’
The Times has run similar pieces before, including one in 2019 where Democrats were fretting that the candidate, then 76, was ‘slow off the mark, uncertain about how to counterpunch,’ according to the paper, in a debate that featured then Sen. Kamala Harris. He went on to capture the nomination and win the presidency.
Biden has the powers of incumbency on his side, along with similar poll troubles for Vice President Kamala Harris, his 57 year old partner in office.