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The Biden White House is often accused by critics of being tone-deaf or creating its own reality and White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did little to dissuade that line of thinking when asked Thursday about whether President Biden intends to run again in 2024.
During a press briefing, ABC News senior White House correspondent Mary K. Bruce asked Jean-Pierre about Vice President Kamala Harris being asked by The Wall Street Journal if Biden, who is 79 years old, plans to run for a second term — he would be 86 at the end of a second term, should he be reelected.
“She didn’t say yes,” Bruce noted. “She just said that the two of them hadn’t talked about it. Of course, you all and the president himself has said that he does plan to seek reelection. So what’s the disconnect here?”
“Well, I mean, I can’t speak to a conversation that the vice president and the president have,” Jean-Pierre replied. “I could only say what and reiterate what Jen [Psaki] has said, and what the president has said himself, that he is planning to run for reelection in 2024. I don’t have any more to add.”
ABC’s @MaryKBruce to Karine Jean Pierre: Kamala “was asked if she assumed that Biden would run again & she didn’t say yes. She…said that the two of them had talked about it…You all & [Biden] himself has said that he does plan to seek reelection, so what’s the disconnect[?]” pic.twitter.com/5CqIzd5TjP
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 16, 2021
When pressed on whether Biden intends to keep Harris on the ticket as his running mate should he run again, Jean-Pierre replied, “Yes, he does. There’s no change.”
Biden has seen his own approval ratings tank, but his numbers look promising when compared to what has proven to be historically low approval rating for Harris, who has seen a number of high-level staff departures recently and has not only failed in her role as border czar, but has also failed on voting rights, another issue she was tasked with leading for the administration.
In the WSJ interview, Harris said she and the president have not discussed whether he plans to run for reelection, suggesting they are too busy with their largely stalled agenda.
“I’m not going to talk about our conversations, but I will tell you this without any ambiguity: We do not talk about nor have we talked about reelection, because we haven’t completed our first year, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” said Harris.
“I’ll be very honest: I don’t think about it, nor have we talked about it,” she added. “We’re building back up our economy, and we are reestablishing America’s role in the context of our allies and partners around the world.”
On Tuesday, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens wrote in a column, titled “Biden Should Not Run Again — and He Should Say He Won’t,” in which he implores the president not to run again, calling him “alarmingly incoherent.”
“Is it a good idea for Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024? And, if he runs again and wins, would it be good for the United States to have a president who is 86 — the age Biden would be at the end of a second term?” he wrote. “I put these questions bluntly because they need to be discussed candidly, not just whispered constantly.”
“It won’t do. From some of his public appearances, Biden seems … uneven. Often cogent, but sometimes alarmingly incoherent,” he noted. “What’s the reason? I have no idea. Do his appearances (including the good ones) inspire strong confidence that the president can go the distance in his current term, to say nothing of the next? No.”
The column followed a piece from CNN’s Chris Cillizza published on Monday that cited Biden’s age and his political failings to toss out eleven possible names “who might take his place” for the Democratic presidential ticket in 2024.
“Combine President Joe Biden’s age (he’ll be 82 shortly after the 2024 election) and his ongoing political struggles (he’s mired in the low 40s in job approval) and you get this: a series of stories examining whether Biden runs again and, if not, who might take his place,” Cillizza wrote.
This coming from a network that has been highly supportive of Biden before and after he was elected to office.
In addition to Harris, other names topping the CNN list included Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
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