U.S. President Joe Biden was roundly criticized by members of his own party after the Democratic agenda suffered major setbacks at the hands of the Supreme Court, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and many now wonder if he is going to -- or even should -- run for reelection. A Fox News editorial headline speculated that “Joe Biden won't run in 2024” and that “Democrats will breathe a sigh of relief,” but to date, the president himself has not indicated a reluctance to run.
The Fox News editorial opines that Democrats will turn on Biden after the midterm elections in November 2022, when the Republicans will likely win the House and the Senate. Indeed, many are already questioning how fit for office Biden will be, given his age. Approaching 80 this year, he would be 86 at the end of a potential second term. An unnamed senior administration official told The Atlantic that “[Biden] just seems old.”
A New York Times report in which 50 Democratic officials were interviewed found a party disillusioned by Biden and concerned about the rising strength of Republicans. Nearly all the Democrats interviewed expressed concern about the president's age and the role it will play in his continued political viability, given his penchant for unexpected gaffes, fewer interviews, and how taxing a job the presidency is.
But Biden and his communications team still maintain that he will run again in 2024. The Fox News opinion piece claimed that he had said as much to former President Barack Obama. Back in March 2021, Biden said, “[...] my plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation.”
In June 2022, the White House press secretary tweeted that Biden “plans” on running:
Still, some leading Democrats in the House cast doubt on his reelection campaign. In August 2022, during a primary debate for the seat in New York's newly redrawn 12th District, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, said, "I don't believe he's running." Her main opponent, Rep. Jerry Nadler, said it was "too early to say" if Biden will run again. Nadler added that it "doesn't serve the purpose of the Democratic Party to deal with that until after the midterms."
However, Maloney later walked back her comment, tweeting on Aug. 3, 2022, that she would support Biden if he ran again:
Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips told reporters that he doesn’t believe Biden should run again. "I think the country would be well-served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up," he said.
He later told the Minnesota Star Tribune, "Under no condition can we afford another four years of Donald Trump, and while Joe Biden was clearly the right candidate at the right time two years ago, it's my hope that both major parties put forward new candidates of principle, civility, and integrity in 2024."
Biden still has enthusiastic supporters, who insist that he’s brought the country onto the right track. For one, gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams continues to embrace their alliance, insisting in a campaign speech in Georgia that he is “The reason that we’ve got billions of dollars in our coffers, money that’s being spent to help keep us afloat.” But other candidates in Georgia are keeping their distance from the president, including Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
A number of prominent Democrats have stopped short of endorsing Biden outright. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez balked at committing to Biden in June 2022, saying, "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
Both Republicans and Democrats appear to be looking at Biden and his reelection hopes with a critical eye, but the Biden administration maintains he still plans to run again for the presidency. We will update this story if anything changes.