President Joe Biden said that it “remains to be seen” whether he will run for a second term.
Biden was asked during an interview with “60 Minutes” last Thursday whether he has made a “firm decision” about running for re-election in 2024.
“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 said.
The president was asked if he had committed to running for a second term by “60 minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley in the interview that aired Sunday night.
“Sir, are you committed to running again, or are there certain conditions that have to be right?” Pelley asked.
Biden, 79, replied that it’s too soon to make the call and he would decide after the midterm elections.
“It’s much too early to make that kind of 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,” he said. “And within the timeframe that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, make a judgment on what to do.”
The president’s remarks stand out from his prior steadfast insistence that he will run again in 2024.
Biden has repeatedly maintained his plan to seek a second term, despite the fact that he would be 86 years old upon leaving office if reelected.
In an effort to beat back speculation that he will retire, Biden reportedly told former President Barack Obama earlier this year that he sincerely plans to run again.
However, some members of the president’s own party have said he should step aside to let a new generation take the reins as commander-in-chief.
“People, I think, want some change,” Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan said earlier this month. “And, you know, it’s important for us to, I think on both parties — like these leaders who have been around for a while — I think it’s time for some generational change, which of course I’ve been trying to do for a while now.”
Republicans have questioned Biden’s mental focus as he turns 80 in November, making him the oldest president in the country’s history.
During the “60 Minutes” interview, Pelley asked Biden about the criticism over his fitness for the job head-on.
“I respect the fact that people would say, you know, ‘You’re old,’” the president replied. “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.”
He dared critics to “watch” him.
“Watch me. And honest to God, that’s all I think. Watch me,” Mr. Biden said. “If you think I don’t have the energy level or the mental acuity, then, you know, that’s one thing. It’s another thing, you just watch and, you know, keep my schedule. Do what I’m doing. I think that, you know, I don’t– when I sit down with our NATO allies and keep them together, I don’t have them saying, ‘Wait a minute, how– how old are you?’”
“How would you say your mental focus is?” Pelley asked.
“Oh, it’s focused. I’d say it’s– I think it’s– I– I haven’t– look, I have trouble even mentioning, even saying to myself, my own head, the number of years,” Mr. Biden said. “I no more think of myself as being as old as I am than fly. I mean, it’s just not– I haven’t observed anything in terms of– there’s not things I don’t do now that I did before, whether it’s physical, or mental, or anything else.”