House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi refused to say on Thursday if President Joe Biden should seek a second term in 2024 or if her fellow Democrat should step aside and let a younger candidate run.
Pelosi sidestepped the question about Biden’s future that came from a reporter during a press conference at the Capitol, and she instead launched into a full-throated endorsement of the president’s successful 2020 campaign.
“President Biden is the president of the United States. He did a great service to our country; he defeated Donald Trump. Let’s not forget that.
“If you care about the air we breathe, the water we drink, the education of our children, jobs for our … our um, their families, pensions for their seniors, any subject you can name,” Pelosi said.
“I’m not going into politics about whether the president should run or not,” she continued, before taking other questions.
The reporter raised the question in response to Biden’s Sunday “60 Minutes” interview, where the 79-year-old said he hadn’t firmly decided about running again, but intended to do so.
During the “60 Minutes” segment, Biden told reporter Scott Pelly that it “remains to be seen” if he would throw his hat in the ring and added: “It’s much too early to make that kind of decision.”
More than half of Democratic voters polled in late August said Biden should step down from the ticket and make room for a new nominee. If he served out a full second term, he would be 84 when it expired.
Many Democratic lawmakers have been lukewarm or tight-lipped when asked about a Biden 2024 race, but few have avoided outright calling for him to retire.
After dodging questions about the president’s staying power earlier in the summer, Rep. Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat, suggested Biden should sit out the race before appearing with him at a Sept. 9 rally.
“My hunch is that we need new leadership across the board, Democrats, Republicans. I think it’s time for, like, a generational move for new leaders on both sides,” Ryan told WFMJ-TV, while also alluding to potential Republican candidate Donald Trump, who is 76.
In April, Biden reportedly told former President Barack Obama that he intended to run again, because he thought he was the only candidate who could beat Trump.
A Sept. 1 Wall Street Journal poll found that Biden would beat Trump by six points in a rematch of the 2020 contest if the election was held this month.