Home World America Joe Biden, at 80, makes official his 2024 presidential run

Joe Biden, at 80, makes official his 2024 presidential run


US President Joe Biden says he will seek a second White House term in 2024, a decision that will test whether Americans are ready to give the 80-year-old Democrat another four years in office.

Mr Biden made his announcement in a slickly produced video released by his new campaign team, in which he declares it is his job to defend American democracy.

It opens with imagery from the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump.

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

“This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for re-election.

“Let’s finish this job. I know we can,” he said.

Mr Biden described Republican platforms as threats to American freedom, vowing to fight efforts to limit women’s health care, cut social security and ban books, while blasting “MAGA extremists”.

MAGA is the acronym for the “Make America Great Again” political slogan of Donald Trump, who may well be Mr Biden’s Republican opponent in the November 2024 election.

In the two years since he took over from Mr Trump, Mr Biden won Congress’ approval for billions of dollars in federal funds to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and for new infrastructure, and oversaw the lowest levels of unemployment since 1969, although a 40-year high in inflation has marred his economic record.

Mr Biden’s age makes his re-election bid a historic and risky gamble for the Democratic Party, which faces a tough election map to hold the Senate in 2024 and is the minority in the House of Representatives now.

Mr Biden’s approval ratings were stuck at just 39 per cent in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on April 19 and there are steep concerns about his age among some Americans; he would be 86 by the end of a prospective second term, almost a decade higher than the average US male’s life expectancy.

Doctors declared Mr Biden, who does not drink alcohol and exercises five times a week, “fit for duty” after an examination in February.

The White House says his record shows that he is mentally sharp enough for the rigours of the job.

Mr Biden will be joined in his 2024 quest by his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mr Biden’s entry into the race follows Mr Trump’s announcement in November that he would seek a second term after losing the 2020 contest to Mr Biden.

Mr Biden, running as an incumbent, is unlikely to face much competition from inside his party.

No senior Democrats have shown signs of challenging him and he has compiled a board of rising-star Democrats to advise his campaign, including governors JB Pritzker of Illinois and Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania.

Potential and declared Republican presidential candidates have begun framing the 2024 election around cutting back government spending amid still-high inflation, restricting abortion, crime in Democratic-run cities and illegal immigration.

The two leading Republican contenders, Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, want to limit the access of trans children to sports teams and gender-affirming medical care, and restrict how schools teach LGBTQ+ issues and America’s history of slavery and racial disparities.

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