WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden made his re-election bid official Tuesday, capping months of speculation about his plans four years after he announced his 2020 campaign.
in a video Titled «Freedom,» which opens with a scene from the January 6 attack on the Capitol, followed by an image of an abortion rights protest, Biden said that after spending his first term fighting for the country’s democracy, » MAGA extremists are lining up» to cut the social safety net and take away personal liberties.
«Cutting Social Security you’ve paid your entire life while cutting taxes for the very rich. Dictating what health care decisions women can make, banning books and telling people who they can love. All while making you more difficult to be able to vote,» he said.
He expressed that his administration still has more to do.
«When I ran for president four years ago, I said that we were in a battle for the soul of America. And we still are. The question we face is whether in the coming years we will have more or less freedom. More rights or less,” he said, adding: “This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for re-election.»
The pitch is an effort to position Biden as the nation’s best hope of defeating a Republican opponent and consolidating his administration’s successes heading into 2024.
The symmetry of the fourth anniversary is a fitting opening for a president who has leaned on history at key moments to present his vision to the American people about the way forward.
Biden also launched his campaign in 2019 with a video message, warning that four more years of Donald Trump would «forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are,» and highlighting the 2017 violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. His 2020 launch video does not mention Trump by name, though the specter of a rematch, and an acknowledgment of the forces of Trumpism, was there. The video features an image of Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters, and a photo of Trump standing next to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seen as the main challenger for the Republican nomination.
In his State of the Union address in February, Biden used the words “finish the job” more than a dozen times and warned against Republicans who “want to take the economy hostage.” He has repeatedly painted a contrast to so-called MAGA Republicans, pointing to former and potential future rival Trump and Republican elected officials who he said have «proposed huge cuts» to «programs that millions of working and middle-class Americans count on.»
It’s part of the message that propelled Biden to victory in 2020 and bolstered Democratic midterm victories in 2022 to avoid a «red wave.»
The timeline for the announcement had been changing. Biden began consulting with family members over the holidays last year, with First Lady Jill Biden claiming in December that she was «fully invested» in another race.
Still, Biden has resisted pressure to formalize his entry into the race, often seeming to chafe at any more urgent push, even as preparations have intensified in recent weeks. When asked about his plans on Monday, he told reporters at the Rose Garden: “I already told you that I plan to run. You will know very soon.
A visit to Ireland «reinforced» his decision to run again, Biden said this month. Parts of the early re-election video of him were recorded last weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he has a home, after returning from a trip to Ireland, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Yet even as Tuesday approached, some Democratic allies warned the date could be pushed back, citing Biden’s willingness to make big decisions until the final moment.
The deployment is not unusual. In 2011, President Barack Obama and Biden, then Vice President, featured voters across the country in a video announcing their re-election campaign, titled «It Starts With Us.»
Biden will address the North American Construction Union in Washington later Tuesday. a nod to his promise to lead «the most pro-union administration in American history.» The event reflects the first rally of his 2020 campaign, which was held in a Pittsburgh union hall.
In a similar move, Vice President Kamala Harris, who Biden said would run for re-election with him, joins Democratic allies for an abortion rights rally at her alma mater, Howard University, a university historically black in Washington, DC Howard was her first stop after she announced her own 2020 presidential bid in a television appearance.
Other planning moves by the Biden team came in the countdown to the early Tuesday morning announcement. NBC News reported Sunday night that Biden was set to pick Julie Chavez Rodriguez as his 2024 campaign manager.
Meanwhile, NBC News reported last week that Biden’s top financial backers planned to meet Friday in Washington, where his top advisers will groom top Democratic Party donors and backers to amplify campaign messaging and ensure allies follow through. supporting him.
Biden, who serves 82 weeks after Election Day and would leave office at 86 if re-elected, has called himself a «respecter of fate» when asked if he will seek another four-year term. At 80, he is already the oldest commander in chief, a potential challenge for voters who have questioned his ability to handle the rigors of the job.
“The big attack on Biden will be his age and his ability,” said Jeff Link, a prominent Iowa political strategist and veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns. “He needs to show that he is committed and focused and that he works for working families. And you have to do that continually.»
The campaign is expected to rely heavily on surrogates and digital media to push Biden’s message forward as he makes his case for a second term. Still, he has dismissed concerns about his age, replying «Look at me» when asked about his fitness for office.
Biden faces other responsibilities going into 2024, including a variable approval rating.
Fifty-three percent of Americans reported a favorable opinion of Biden four years ago, according to Gallup, compared with 35% who disapproved of him. Today, 56% of Americans disapprove of the job she’s doing, compared to 40% who approve.
according to a new NBC News poll, 70% of Americans, including 51% of Democrats, do not want Biden to run for president in 2024. Nearly half of those surveyed cited their age as a top reason. Only 38% of voters said they approved of his handling of the economy.
The poll shows Biden trailing a generic Republican among registered voters, 41% of whom said they were likely to vote for him, compared with 47% for the Republican nominee.
Those numbers could be a hurdle for Biden if Republicans nominate someone other than Trump, who, for now, remains the favorite in the GOP nomination race.
The race for campaign dollars will prove crucial in asserting Biden’s power in a possible rematch.
After announcing his 2020 reelection campaign from the White House, Trump raised $24.8 million over the next 24 hours, swamping his Democratic rivals. A similar show of force from Biden would help cement him as a formidable starter against the Republican camp, which is yet to be seen.
Biden’s initial 2020 fundraising total surpassed his rivals’ totals at the time and was seen as an important metric for your campaign.
Democrats and other voters continue to view Trump as a threat, another parallel to Biden’s winning 2020 campaign that some hope could help bolster his case going into 2024.
“People are still concerned about the threat that Trump poses,” said Link, the Iowa strategist. “Having a second term from Biden is critical to making sure that Trump doesn’t return to the White House.”
It’s a call that Biden recognizes, Link said, and one that he has the power to reinforce with Americans who fear a second Trump term, even if they disagree on other issues.
“Biden uses that line ‘Don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative,’ and I think it will be very relevant,” Link said.