President Joe Biden said in an interview airing Sunday that it’s “much too early” to make the decision on whether he will run again for president, marking a shift from what he and his aides have been saying publicly for most of his presidency and injecting fresh uncertainty into his 2024 plans.
“Look, my intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again. But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen,” Biden told CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” when asked whether he would run.
Biden has consistently said he is a “great respecter of fate” and that events could intervene in his decision-making. Still, Biden’s determination Sunday that it “remains to be seen” whether he will run amounted to new uncertainty for a question that will be front and center for Democrats after this year’s midterm elections.
Behind the scenes and among Democratic circles, the certainty of a Biden reelection bid has been less solid. Biden’s advisers expect him to discuss another run with his family over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and hope he will be able to announce a decision early in the new year.
But Biden acknowledging publicly that he is undecided – as his wife, first lady Jill Biden, did in an interview last week – injects fresh questions into the 2024 race.
Biden cited election laws first as the reason why he can’t announce a decision.
“I’m a great respecter of fate. And so, what I’m doing is I’m doing my job. I’m gonna do that job. And within the timeframe that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, make a judgment on what to do,” Biden told CBS.
Asked about criticisms that he is unfit for the job at his age, Biden said to his critics: “Watch me.”
“I respect the fact that people would say, you know, ‘You’re old.’ And – but I think it relates to how much energy you have, and whether or not the job you’re doing is one consistent with what any person of any age would be able to do,” Biden said, adding that he’s mentally focused on the job.
He hasn’t observed anything in terms of “things I don’t do now that I did before, whether it’s physical, or mental, or anything else,” Biden added.
Asked about his recent string of legislative successes as of late, Biden quipped: “How’d an old guy do that?”
When asked previously about running, Biden gave a firmer answer.
“The answer is ‘yes.’ My plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation,” Biden said during his first news conference in March 2021.
“The President has repeatedly said that he plans to run in 2024, and I’m gonna have to leave it there,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told CNN’s Don Lemon in June.