President Biden on Wednesday said he would run for reelection in 2024 if he’s “in good health,” adding that he was eager to possibly face Donald Trump.
“Why would I not run against Donald Trump as the nominee?” Biden said. “That would increase the prospect of running.”
Trump has hinted he might run in 2024.
Biden, 79, offered some latitude in his answer that he would run — possibly alluding to the personal tragedy that has shaped his life.
“But look, I’m a great respecter of fate,” Biden said. “Fate has intervened in my life many, many times.”
With midterms next year, Biden’s answer comes as much of Congress is up for election, possibly setting the momentum for presidential candidates in three years. Earlier Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said he would “absolutely” consider running and would probably get the GOP nomination considering past precedent.
After Vice President Harris said in a Wall Street Journal interview published last week that she has not talked to Biden about 2024, deputy White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reaffirmed his intention to run, adding that Harris would be on the ticket.
“I could only reiterate what [press secretary Jen Psaki] has said and what the president has said himself: that he is planning to run for reelection in 2024,” Jean-Pierre said.
Biden gave the sit-down interview in the White House as the omicron variant of the coronavirus is spiking across the country, casting a grim shadow over the holiday season. U.S. cases have increased by about 27 percent in the past seven days. States including New York, New Jersey and Ohio are reporting the most new daily infections.
Muir asked Biden whether he had considered a vaccine mandate on domestic flights amid the uptick in travel, as the omicron variant makes up three-quarters of U.S. cases.
“It’s been considered, but the recommendation I’ve gotten [is] it’s not necessary,” Biden said.
When asked about the availability of at-home coronavirus tests, Biden defended his coronavirus response by touting progress made with vaccines.
“Empty shelves and no test kits in some places three days before Christmas, when it’s so important, is that good enough?” Muir asked.
“No, nothing’s been good enough,” Biden responded. “But look where we are. When, last Christmas, we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated — people vaccinated, emergency rooms were filled, you had serious backups in hospitals that were causing great difficulties.”