April 26, 2023
In a video accompanying his long-awaited announcement, Biden asked Americans to let him “finish this job” and painted the upcoming race as a continuation of the same struggles he sought to address with his previous campaign. “When I ran for president four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America. And we still are.”
Biden’s pitch for a second term begins with a single word: “freedom.” “Personal freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans,” Biden says, explaining that his first term has been a fight to defend American democracy. “But you know around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take on those bedrock freedoms,” Biden says over images of Marjorie Taylor Greene; the January 6 attack on the Capitol; and his 2024 rivals, Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump.
The president also attacked Republican policies of cuts to Social Security and taxes for the wealthy while also “dictating what health-care decisions women can make” and banning books. “This is not a time to be complacent,” Biden adds. “That’s why I’m running for re-election.”
His announcement comes exactly four years on from the declaration of his 2020 campaign, and Biden now appears set to use the historic chaos that marked the end of that race as ammunition as he takes on Trump for the second time. “Every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they have to defend democracy,” Biden says. “Stand up for our personal freedom, stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights. And this is our moment.”
His video ends by encouraging viewers to sign up on his campaign website. “Let’s finish this job, I know we can,” Biden says. “because this is the United States of America, and there’s nothing, simply nothing, we cannot do if we do it together.”
Separately on Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris confirmed that she would once again be Biden’s running mate. “As Americans, we believe in freedom and liberty—and we believe that our democracy will only be as strong as our willingness to fight for it,” Harris tweeted alongside Biden’s campaign video. “That’s why Joe Biden and I are running for re-election.”
The campaign launch comes after Biden—already the oldest president in U.S. history at age 80—has repeatedly said publicly that he intended to run again, although he would be 86 by the end of his theoretical second term.
His announcement comes after months of anticipation and questions on whether he would be fit for another term. Polling has repeatedly shown that Democrats are wary of Biden as the 2024 nominee. Two Democratic members of Congress, Representative Dean Phillips (Minnesota) and former Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), have even publicly insisted the president should not run again.
Both Trump and Biden seem uniquely fit to go against the other—Trump because he’s likely the only Republican capable of turning out his voters, and Biden because he consistently polls the best of any Democrat against Trump.
In recent weeks, however, the president’s re-election campaign began to materialize. Reports this week announced Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a senior White House official, is set to run Biden’s re-election campaign. Politico reported Monday night that Quentin Fulks, an alumnus of Senator Raphael Warnock’s (D-Georgia) campaign, will be deputy campaign manager.
And buzz around Tuesday’s announcement video spread through political circles the weekend prior, hyping Democrats up in advance.
Some Republicans have wasted no time in attacking Biden following his announcement. “Biden is so out-of-touch that after creating crisis after crisis, he thinks he deserves another four years,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “If voters let Biden ‘finish the job,’ inflation will continue to skyrocket, crime rates will rise, more fentanyl will cross our open borders, children will continue to be left behind, and American families will be worse off.”
In his own statement published late Monday before Biden even launched his campaign, Trump savaged Biden’s record while talking up his own time in office. “Under my leadership, we had the most secure border in U.S. history, by far. Never had a border like this,” Trump wrote. He added that “illegal aliens” are “coming in from mental institutions and prisons” and claimed America’s children are being “indoctrinated and mutilated by left-wing freaks and zealots.” “You know what happened in the last election: they cheated,” Trump said of his Democrat opponents, “and they rigged the election.”
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