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'I'm going to do it again': Biden allegedly told Al Sharpton he's running again in 2024

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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a private conversation last month, President Joe Biden confided in MSNBC's Rev. Al Sharpton, informing him of his intention to run for reelection in 2024. "I'm going to do it again ... I'm going," Biden allegedly said on September 2 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

This confidential admission, which Sharpton reportedly broadcast to his National Action Network staff immediately after the meeting, comes amid much uncertainty whether the president should or would seek to hold on to power.

Sharpton suggested that the recent meeting paralleled another, in January 2019, during which Biden allegedly solicited his advice on whether to pursue the highest office in the land.

Biden's intentions

Biden recently cast doubt on whether he would seek reelection in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," which aired on September 18. The 79-year-old said that his "intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again."

However, he added, "it's just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen. ... Within the timeframe that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, [I will] make a judgment on what to do."

Biden recently suggested that Vice President Kamala Harris, whose 2020 presidential campaign was a failure, "won't be the last woman to be vice president or president," intimating that perhaps she might soon have an opportunity to take the top spot.

Democrats' disagreements

Democrats are not united behind the prospect of another four years of Biden.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer laughed at the question of whether Biden should run, saying, "I'm not having that conversation."

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) flat-out opposed the idea, stating that he thought "the country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up."

Rep. Angie Craig concurred, suggesting that while it was entirely up to Biden on whether to run, in terms of having his support, "I would say we need new leaders in Washington up and down the ballot in the Democratic Party."

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), now running against J.D. Vance for a Senate seat, said last month, "My hunch is that we need leadership across the board ... I think it's time for a generational move."

While some Democrats have expressed a desire for a change, others have attempted to remain diplomatic.

At a September 22 news conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who may similarly be on her way out, eulogized Biden's first term, stating he "did a great service to our country: he defeated Donald Trump. Let's not forget that." She added that she wouldn't go "into politics about whether the President should run or not."

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told CNN that Biden "beat Donald Trump before; he'll beat Donald Trump again ... I think Joe Biden is the best Democrat to beat Donald Trump in 2024."

Recent YouGov and ABC News/Washington Post polls have Biden and Trump nearly tied, whereas a late September McLaughlin & Associates poll had Trump up by nine points.

When asked by Time magazine whether she'd want Biden to campaign with her, Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) answered, "I'd like to take a wait-and-see approach. I don't know what is on the horizon."

Jim Roosevelt, a top DNC member, told CNN, "If he feels he can do it ... people would want him to do it."

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll suggested otherwise. Only 35% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want to see the party nominate Biden in 2024. Over half of Democrats (56%) want someone else.

Voters' apprehensions

A September 22 Marquette University National Survey indicated that nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans don't want the president to run again. Alternatively put, only 28% of respondents want Biden to run again. That's three points lower than the current national support for former President Donald Trump to run again.

Although up considerably higher than in previous months, a September Gallup poll placed Biden's approval at 42%. The average for U.S. presidents is 53%.

On Monday, a Monmouth University poll gave Biden a failing score on all of America's issue priorities, with the exception of the COVID pandemic, regarded as the nation's second-lowest priority, where he secured a 50% approval rating.

30% of likely voters approve of his handling of inflation; 32%, crime; 31%, immigration; 31%, abortion; and 41%, his handling of student loan debt.

49% of the public believe Biden is performing worse than they had imagined he would as president.

Biden, the second U.S. president to claim to be a Catholic, now majoritively lacks the support of Catholic voters. An EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research poll indicated on September 29 that 58.4% of likely Catholic voters think Biden should not pursue a second term. Only 22.2% think he should run again.

Cognitive dimensions

Biden, the oldest president ever to hold the office, is a month shy of becoming an octogenarian. There is mounting concern over whether he will be able to continue to serve as president in light of what some have suggested may be signs of mental deterioration.

In August, an Issues & Insights/TIPP poll revealed that 59% of respondents were "concerned" about Biden's mental health. 36% stated they were "very concerned." Although this concern skewed along political lines, 39% of Democrat respondents nevertheless expressed concern.

When asked whether age may present a challenge to Biden in 2024, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, "That is not a question that we should be even asking." The 48-year-old added, "I can't even keep up with him."

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a former White House doctor, observed that Biden is now slow, frail, forgetful, confused, and short-tempered. "All these things are physical and mental manifestations of cognitive decline and it's related to age," said Jackson.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jackson suggested that Biden should resign.

Jackson told Fox News Digital, "The whole country is seeing his mental cognitive issues on display for over a year now, and there's really no question ... that he's not cognitively the same as he used to be and, in my mind, not fit to be our president right now."

Biden's routine gaffes have stoked much of this worry.

Last week, the president asked for the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who died this summer in a car crash. Biden had previously issued an official statement in which he offered her family his condolences.

In a recent "60 Minutes" interview, Biden was asked about his mental focus. His answer became the subject of much ridicule.

In July, Biden said that it was important to "bear witness, to keep alive the truth and the honor of the Holocaust," having originally been scripted to say "horror of the Holocaust."

Among the president's other so-called gaffes, Biden also:

  • suggested that the 2018 Parkland, Florida, mass shooting had taken place in 1918;
  • spoke to the "selfishness" (contra "selflessness") of American troops;
  • claimed to have cancer in a speech about climate change;
  • demanded regime change in Russia, which the White house soon had to walk back; and
  • mistook Ukraine for Iran during his State of the Union address.
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