Biden Takes Aim at ‘MAGA Extremists’ in 2024 Announcement Vid
Joe Biden is back for another round. The president has put doubts to rest, and declared himself a candidate for reelection in 2024.
Biden made the announcement in a video address released early Tuesday morning, exactly four years after he announced his 2020 campaign.
“Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take on those bedrock freedoms,” he warned as images of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump, and Ron DeSantis quickly flashed across the screen. “Cutting Social Security you’ve paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Dictating what health care decisions women can make. Banning books. Telling people who they can love. All while making it more difficult to vote.”
The move sets up a likely rematch with the man Biden defeated by more than 7 million votes in 2020, former-President Donald Trump, 76. Or perhaps it will set up a new contest against another vindictive Florida Man, Gov. Ron DeSantis, 44.
An incumbent president choosing to run for a second term is not surprising. The only major question mark hanging over Biden, 80, has been his age. From day one, Biden was the oldest president to hold office. (Ronald Reagan exited the White House at age 77.) If elected in 2024, Biden would be 86 years old at the completion of a second term.
The official launch of a political campaign allows Biden’s team to begin raising cash for what promises to be a massively expensive race. It comes at the cost of optics — inserting Biden directly into the fray of daily politics, where he’ll be expected to go toe-to-toe with the broadsides and insults lofted by Republican rivals.
But the move also gives Biden — whose approval ratings have slipped — a chance to pivot from governing to marketing. The good news is that he’s got a solid story to tell. By any dispassionate accounting, he’s had an accomplished term. In addition to salvaging American democracy from the autocratic assaults of his predecessor, the 46th president has:
- Passed a $1.9 trillion Covid rescue package, a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure package, and a $740 billion “inflation reduction” package that creates historic investments in clean energy.
- Confirmed judges at a breakneck pace, including the nation’s first Black woman Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson.
- Passed the Respect for Marriage Act, safeguarding same-sex marriage from the arch-conservatives on the court.
- Gravely weakened geopolitical foe Russia through (relatively modest) support of Ukraine’s defense against Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression.
Returning a sense of normalcy to Washington, Biden has nonetheless faced headwinds.
He has governed amid a turbulent economy, including war-spiked gas prices and snarled supply chains that drove worst-in-generations inflation. Nonetheless, the U.S. has remained at full employment despite the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates to chill the economy. Biden also brought to a close decades of American war in Afghanistan, but at significant cost, losing 13 American lives in the war’s chaotic final days, as the Taliban recaptured the capital of Kabul.
In comparison with Trump’s four-year reign of chaos and scandal, the Biden presidency has appeared a buttoned-up affair. Republican investigations into Hunter’s “laptop from hell” and puffed up rhetoric about the “Biden crime family” have produced little of substance, and concerns over the discovery of classified documents at the president’s private office and residence are notable less as a major scandal than for softening the punch of the more serious allegations that Trump clung to poorly guarded state secrets at Mar-a-Lago.
Still, Biden’s approval rating has been declining, sitting at only 39 percent as of last week, according to Reuters. Even fewer Americans, 32 percent, think he deserves another term, according to a recent CNN poll. Americans are just as dispirited by the idea of another round of Biden vs. Trump, which as of now appears to be where the 2024 election is heading given Trump’s polling lead over DeSantis and the lack of a viable contender for the Democratic nomination.
Trump responded to the announcement with a video of his own, calling Biden “the most corrupt president in American history and it’s not even close.”
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Crucial to Biden’s strength within his own party was how Democrats beat back an anticipated “Red Wave” in the 2022 midterm elections, expanding control of the Senate and only narrowly surrendering the House. The historically strong performance quieted intraparty chatter about Democrats replacing their standard-bearer. To date, only camera-hungry long shots like New Age author Marianne Williamson and anti-vaxxer RFK Jr. have declared their candidacies.
In the run-up to 2020, Biden described himself as a “bridge” to a new generation of Democratic leaders. With Biden’s move to seek reelection, the length of that crossing now appears it will be longer than any of the party’s Gen X and millennial stars might have hoped for.