President Joe Biden has announced a 2024 re-election bid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden He formally announced on Tuesday that he will seek re-election in 2024. He asked voters to give him more time to “finish this job” and extend the term of America’s oldest president. For another four years.

Biden, who will be 86 at the end of his second term, is betting on his first-term legislative achievements. And his more than 50 years of experience in Washington more than make up for his age. With no serious Democratic challengers, he faces a smooth path to winning his party’s nomination. But he is ready for an even tougher fight to retain the presidency in a bitterly divided nation.

In his first public appearance on Tuesday since the announcement, Biden offered a preview of how he plans to navigate the dual roles of president and presidential candidate. He focused on his day job.

Greeted by chants of “Let’s Go Joe” from a raucous crowd of construction union members — a key base of Democratic support — Biden showcased the tens of thousands of construction jobs created since he took office. .

“We — you and I — together we’re turning things around, and we’re doing it in a big way,” Biden said. “It’s time to finish the job. Finish the job”

Biden’s campaign announcement, at A three-minute videoIt comes on the four-year anniversary of his announcement to the White House In 2019, he pledged to heal the “soul of the nation” amid Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency. – A target is elusive.

“I said we’re in a battle for America’s soul, and we still are,” Biden said. “The question we face is whether we will have more freedom or less freedom in the coming years. More rights or less.”

While most modern presidents have been given a chance at re-election, Biden has never had one. A significant number of Democratic voters They noted that he preferred not to run because of his age. Biden called those concerns “absolutely legitimate.” But he didn’t address the issue head-on in his launch video.

Few things have united Democratic voters like the prospect of Trump’s return to power. Biden’s political standing within his party has been solidified after a stronger-than-expected performance by Democrats in last year’s midterm elections. The president is set to run again on the same themes that galvanized his party last fall, particularly protecting access to abortion..

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“Freedom. Individual freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans. Nothing is more important than that. Nothing is more sacred,” Biden said in the launch video, portraying Republican extremists as trying to roll back access to abortion and slash Social Security.Limit the right to vote and ban books They disagree. “Across the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take away those basic freedoms.”

As the contours of the campaign begin to take shape, Biden plans to run his record. He spent his first two years as president fighting the coronavirus pandemic and passing key bills like the bipartisan infrastructure package. and the Act to Promote High-Tech Manufacturing and Climate Action.

The president has many policy goals and unfulfilled promises from his first campaign.

“Let’s finish this job. I know we can,” Biden said in the video, repeating a mantra he repeated a dozen times during his State of the Union address. In February.

Vice President Kamala Harris, featured prominently with Biden in the video, held a political rally in support of abortion access at Howard University in Washington on Tuesday evening, launching her own efforts to support her re-election bid.

“I’m proud to be running for re-election with President Joe Biden,” Harris said, adding, “Our hard-won freedoms are under attack. It’s time for us to stand up and fight back.

In the video, Biden interjects brief clips and photos of key moments from his presidency, snapshots of various Americans and flashes of apparent Republican opponents, including Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia. He advises supporters that “this is our moment” to defend democracy. Stand up for our individual freedoms. Stand up for voting rights and our civil rights.

Biden plans to point to his work over the past two years to bolster U.S. alliances, leading a global coalition to support Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression and to return the U.S. to the Paris climate accord.. But American public support for Ukraine has waned in recent months, and some voters are questioning billions of dollars in military and economic aid. Flowing to Kiev.

The president also faces lingering criticism over his administration’s tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. After a nearly 20-year battle, he has been the target of GOP attacks on his immigration and economic policies, undermining the image of competence he aimed to portray.

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As a candidate in 2020, Biden has informed voters about his connections to the halls of power in Washington and around the world. But even then, he was well aware of voters’ concerns about his age.

“Look, I see myself as a bridge, nothing else,” Biden said in March 2020 while campaigning with Young Democrats in Michigan, including Harris, Sen. of New Jersey. Cory Booker and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “There is a generation of leaders that you have seen standing behind me. They are the future of this country.

Three years later, and the president is now 80 years old, Biden allies say his tenure has demonstrated that he views himself as a transitional rather than a transitional leader.

However, many Democrats want Biden not to run again. A recent survey An Associated Press-NRC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 47% of Democrats say he should seek a second term, up from 37% in February. Biden’s verbal — and occasional physical — fumbles have become fodder for critics trying to make him appear unfit for office.

During regular physical exertion In February, Biden’s doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor declared her “healthy, vigorous” and “fit” to handle her White House responsibilities.

Hours after Biden’s announcement, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say whether he plans to serve another eight years as president if elected to a second term. He later clarified through a tweet, “I want to make sure I don’t go further into 2024 than is appropriate under the law. But I can confirm that @POTUS will serve 8 years if re-elected.

While some in his party favor a replacement for Biden, aides acknowledge there is little but consensus within their diverse coalition on who that might be. They insist that Democrats and independents will rally around Biden, comparing him to whoever the GOP nominates.

For now, Trump, 76, is the favorite to emerge as the Republican nominee, creating the possibility of a historic 2020 campaign.. But Trump faces significant obstacles, including becoming the first former president to face criminal charges.. The rest of the GOP field is volatile, with DeSantis emerging as an early alternative to Trump. DeSantis’ status is also in question, however, amid questions about his willingness to campaign outside his Republican-leaning state.

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To win again, Biden needs the alliance that helped him win in 2020 with young voters and black voters — especially women — among blue-collar Midwesterners, moderates and disaffected Republicans. He should again be called the “blue wall”. He narrowly won longtime GOP strongholds in the Upper Midwest, defending his position in Georgia and Arizona last time.

Biden’s re-election bid comes as the country faces uncertain economic crossroads. Inflation is falling After hitting the highest rate in a generation, but unemployment is at its lowest in 50 years, and the economy is showing signs of recovery despite interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

“If voters allow Biden to ‘finish the job,’ inflation will continue to rise, crime rates will rise, fentanyl will continue to cross our open borders, children will continue to be left behind, and American families will continue to suffer,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Rona McDaniel said in a statement.

Presidents typically try to delay their re-election announcements to retain the advantages of incumbency and slide as far above the political fray as possible while their rivals trade. But what comes with being in the White House can be tough — three of the past seven presidents have lost re-election, most recently Trump in 2020.

Biden’s announcement roughly coincided with the timeline of then-President Barack Obama, who waited until April 2011 to declare for a second term and did not hold a re-election campaign until May 2012. Trump launched his re-election bid on the day of his inauguration. In 2017.

On Tuesday, Biden named White House counsel Julie Chavez Rodriguez To serve as campaign manager and Quentin Fulks, In Georgia last year, Sen. Served as Principal Deputy Campaign Manager on Raphael Warnock’s re-election campaign. Campaign co-chairs Reps. Lisa Blunt-Rochester, Jim Clyburn and Veronica Escobar; Sens. Chris Coons and Tommy Duckworth; entertainment mogul and Democratic mega-donor Jeffrey Katzenberg; and Whitmer.

AP writer Chris Megarion contributed.

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Follow AP’s coverage of President Joe Biden at https://apnews.com/hub/joe-biden.

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