White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that President Joe Biden will seek reelection in 2024, despite concerns from within the Democratic Party regarding the president’s age, which will be 82 at the start of a second term.
During a White House press briefing last week, Fox News’ White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre whether Biden would run.
“First of all, let’s reset for a second,” Jean-Pierre responded. “I cannot talk about elections. I cannot be a political analyst from here or, you know, the midterms or anything like that or including 2024.”
“The president, as you know, has been asked that question many times, and he has answered it,” she added. “His answer has been pretty simple, which is, yes, he’s running for reelection. I can’t say more than that.”
Jean-Pierre doubled down on those statements in a Twitter post later that day.
To be clear, as the President has said repeatedly, he plans to run in 2024.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) June 13, 2022
The comments from Jean-Pierre came two days after David Axelrod, the chief strategist for former President Barack Obama, told The New York Times that Biden’s age is a “major issue.”
“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,” Axelrod said.
Some of Biden’s earliest supporters have also questioned whether he could lead the party through another election cycle.
Ann Hart, a Democratic Party co-chairwoman in Iowa’s Allamakee County, endorsed Biden ahead of the state’s 2020 caucuses. Hart told the NYT that she does not understand how Biden manages the presidency at 79 years old.
“I get asked to run for things — are you kidding? I’m 64,” she said. “We need youth. So I kind of admire him wanting to take this on and I hope he’ll pass the torch.”
Democratic voters are also not sold on the prospect of a 2024 Biden presidential campaign.
“I need an equivalent of Ron DeSantis, a Democrat, but not a 70- or 80-year-old — a younger person,” Democratic voter Alex Wyshyvanuk, 33, told the NYT. “Someone who knows what worked for you in 1980 is not going to work for you in 2022 or 2024.”
DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, is 43 years old.
Some of the most well-known politicians within the Democratic Party also appear to break with Biden ahead of the midterms and 2024.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) refused to confirm she would endorse Biden in 2024 during an appearance on CNN last week.
“You know, if the president chooses to run again in 2024, I mean, first of all, I’m focused on winning this majority right now and preserving a majority this year in 2022,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it … I think if the president has a vision and that’s something, certainly, we’re all willing to entertain and examine when the time comes.”
CNN host Dana Bash interjected, saying, “That’s not a yes.”
“You know, I think we should endorse when we get to it,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “I believe that the president has been doing a very good job so far. And, you know, should he run again? I think that I, you know, I think it’s — we’ll take a look at it.”
Biden’s slumping poll numbers are hurting his case as well.
An early June poll from Morning Consult/Politico found Biden’s approval rating stands at 39%, the lowest approval rating in the poll since he took office in January 2021.
A May poll from CBS News found that 65% of people believe Biden is “slow to react” when issues arise and 69% say the economy is “bad.”
Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, an African-American political organizing group, said her primary concern is the failure of Biden and Democrats to deliver on core promises. She said that might prevent African-American voters from supporting Democrats in November.
“Does this frustration, and the malaise, and the worry, and the fear, does that translate into an ongoing enthusiasm gap, and does that cause people to feel like their participation doesn’t make significant change?” Shropshire asked. “That’s the real question.”
Lawyer and Democratic National Committee member Shelia Huggins told the NYT, “Democrats need fresh, bold leadership for the 2024 presidential race.”