WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says he will seek a second term in the White House, announcing his reelection campaign in a video on Tuesday promising to finish the job if given four more years.
Biden’s announcement comes four years to the day after he launched his successful campaign in 2019 against a sitting Republican president, Donald Trump, who has already announced his own reelection bid and currently leads the polls for the GOP nomination.
“When I ran for President four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America,” Biden said in the video. “And we still are. The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer.
“I know what I want the answer to be, and I think you do too,” the president continued. “This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for re-election.”
While Democratic Party insiders expect their voters to rally around Biden, the 80-year-old president faces persistent concerns across the electorate over his age. Biden is already the oldest sitting president in American history and would be 86 at the end of a second term.
A recent NBC News poll showed that 70% of Americans, and 51% of Democrats, would prefer Biden not run for reelection, with half of those polled citing his age as a “major” factor of concern.
Still, the president is not expected to face any serious primary challengers for the Democratic nomination. For the first time in modern history, voting in the Democratic primary will not begin in Iowa and New Hampshire, but in South Carolina, a state that catapulted Biden’s primary campaign for the nomination in 2020.
Two challengers — Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — have announced campaigns for the nomination, although the Democratic Party does not plan on hosting primary debates.
Aides to the president say his reelection campaign will focus on themes that helped Democrats surpass expectations in the 2022 midterms, including his fight to preserve democratic values, entitlement programs like Social Security and women’s reproductive rights.
“Every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they’ve had to defend democracy,” Biden said. “Stand up for our personal freedoms. Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights. And this is our moment.”
The reelection video also features footage of Vice President Kamala Harris, who will again join Biden on the Democratic ticket. Harris has been criticized since taking office because of a perceived uncertainty over her role as vice president, but Biden had recently reaffirmed his support for her.
“This is a pivotal moment in our history,” Harris said in a statement. “For two years we have made transformational investments to build a nation in which everyone can be safe and healthy, find a good job, and retire with dignity. In response, extremists have intensified attacks on basic, foundational freedoms and rights.”
The Biden campaign also announced that Julie Chávez Rodríguez, a senior adviser to Biden in the White House, would serve as campaign manager. Quentin Fulks, who ran Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s successful reelection campaign in 2022, will be the campaign’s principal deputy campaign manager.