Biden Says He Has ‘Other Things to Finish’ Before 2024 Campaign

Biden Says He Has ‘Other Things to Finish’ Before 2024 Campaign
President Joe Biden delivers the keynote address during the National Association of Counties at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington on Feb. 14, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

President Joe Biden said that he has “other things to finish” before starting a 2024 presidential campaign, according to an interview published Sunday.

“My intention … has been from the beginning to run, but there’s too many other things I have to finish in the near-term before I start a campaign,” Biden told ABC News. ”I’ve got other things to finish before I get into a full-blown campaign,” he added.

Also in that interview, Biden, 80, said that concerns about his age are “totally legitimate” amid questions about whether he’s capable of running for another presidential term. If he’s reelected for a second term during the 2024 election, Biden would be 86 years old upon leaving office.

“It’s legitimate for people to raise issues about my age,” he told ABC News. “It’s totally legitimate to do that.”

In previous appearances, Biden said he won’t declare his candidacy because it could run afoul of federal election laws and campaign financing rules. A similar comment was issued by former President Donald Trump in 2021, although Trump became the first major Republican to announce a presidential bid a week after the Nov. 8 midterms last year.

Despite his public statements, there continues to be intense speculation about Biden’s future. A Politico article, published this week and citing “four people familiar with the president’s thinking,” said that there is no hard deadline for when Biden will announce his bid, which has allegedly caused some Democrat donors and strategists to come up with a contingency plan.

When he was sworn in in 2021, Biden became the oldest person ever to become president. Republicans and some Democrats have expressed concern that he’s too old.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley earlier this month said that anyone over the age of 75 should have to take a mental competency test in order to hold office.

“When 81-year-old Bernie Sanders is chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, it’s not too much to have him take a 10-minute test to see whether he has the mental ability to draw a clock or identify an animal,” Nachama Soloveichik, one of Haley’s campaign advisers, told Politico earlier this week. “We’re not talking rocket science here.”

Biden has said that his health would factor into whether he makes a second bid for the White House and said last year he would speak to his family about such a decision over the past Christmas holiday weekend. However, no announcement has been made yet.

Many people, including Democrats, have expressed reservations about Biden seeking a second term in 2024. Only 37 percent of Democrats say Biden should pursue reelection, down from 52 percent before last November’s elections, according to a recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Overall, 22 percent of U.S. adults said he ought to run again.

Meanwhile, for Republicans, President Donald Trump remains a leading figure within the GOP and exercises tremendous influence among primary voters. Beyond Haley and Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be a possible alternative. Other possible challengers include former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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