“Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours. That’s why I’m running for reelection as President of the United States,” Biden said in his reelection announcement.
The president’s reelection bid comes four years to the day since he announced his 2020 run.
Biden delivered remarks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions legislative conference later in the day Tuesday, addressing his Investing in America agenda, which focuses on bringing manufacturing back to the states, rebuilding the middle class and creating good-paying union jobs.
“We’ve created more than 12 million new jobs, more jobs in two years than any other president created in a four-year term,” Biden said. “I ran for president to rebuild a backbone for America.”
Biden, now 80, was the oldest U.S. president ever when he first took the Oval Office at age 78. But the president has batted away questions about his age, saying that voters simply need to “watch me” to determine whether he’s up to the job as president.
Biden faces significant challenges in his bid for a second term. The public is generally dissatisfied with the state of the nation, and his approval ratings are mediocre.
Vice President Kamala Harris will also be running for reelection alongside Biden, despite speculation that their relationship might hurt the president’s chance for a second White House term.
Biden appears to have dodged any serious primary challengers. The only two significant candidates so far are author and spiritualist Marianne Williamson and Kennedy family scion Robert F. Kennedy Jr., best known as an anti-vaccine campaigner.
Many Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and former 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, backed Biden’s reelection campaign, retweeting his announcement on their Twitter accounts.
“Proud of all that Joe Biden and his administration have accomplished these last few years. He’s delivered for the American people — and he’ll continue to do so once he’s re-elected,” Obama said.
Clinton wrote, “Joe and Kamala are the best people for the job of defending our democracy, fighting for our rights, and making sure everyone has a fair shot.”
Right now, Trump is the clear favorite for the GOP — and that might be the best news possible for Biden.
The former president famously lost the popular vote in both of his previous White House runs. Biden beat him by more than 7 million votes in 2020. And the events of Jan. 6, 2021, have likely made Trump more toxic, at least to some voters.
Trump responded to Biden’s reelection announcement in a lengthy statement, attacking the incumbent and calling him the most corrupt president in American history.
“You could take the five worst presidents in American history, and put them together, and they would not have done the damage Joe Biden has done to our nation in just a few short years. Not even close,” Trump’s statement said.
Though Biden didn’t mention Trump by name, his reelection video features images of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and references Trump’s hold on the Republican Party.
“Around the county, MAGA extremists are linking up to take on those bedrock freedoms, cutting Social Security that you paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the very wealthy,” Biden said.
Biden has built his reelection campaign from the insecurity of voters, encouraging American voters to back him and join the fight against the threat to democracy.
For the first time in political history, the Republican National Committee (RNC) responded to Biden’s announcement, releasing an AI-generated video that was first reported by Axios. The video portrays a dystopian future of America if Biden and Harris were to be elected in 2024.
According to Axios, the 2024 election is expected to be the first election led by AI-generated images and messages meant to influence voters.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also responded to the president’s reelection bid, calling Biden out for focusing on his own political career rather than “the future of America.”
“I know President Biden might be focused on his own political future today, but he should be focused on the future of America. Biden should have announced he will finally come to the table and negotiate a responsible debt limit increase to avoid the first default in our history,” McCarthy tweeted.
With only nominal primary challengers and a chaotic Republican field, the president and his senior aides have felt little pressure to formalize a reelection campaign. Instead, Biden has focused on governing, holding events at the White House and traveling across the country to sell his top legislative achievements, such as a bipartisan infrastructure law and a sweeping climate, health care and tax package.
Despite average approval ratings, Biden is showing some signs of recovery in terms of public perception of the economy.
A recent Economist/YouGov poll had a basically even split between voters approving of his performance on the economy, at 45%, and disapproving, at 46%. Still, employment has rebounded strongly from the pandemic, sending the national unemployment rate to its lowest levels in decades.
But the Biden administration is facing two allegations amid his reelection announcement. Both claims involve Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Devan Markham, The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate The Hill contributed to this report.