Watch: White House Slips Up, Runs Clean Up After Biden's Messy Announcement
With Joe Biden officially announcing his campaign for a second term, the White House quickly went into clean-up mode to address questions surrounding how long he would stay in office. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre created an air of uncertainty when she responded to a reporter’s question on the matter by saying:
“I’m just not gonna get ahead of the president. That’s something for him to decide.”
Politico's @ccadelago: "Does the president plan to serve all eight years?"
White House Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre: "I'm just not gonna get ahead of the president. That's something for him to decide." pic.twitter.com/NAwcxr9dJj
— The Recount (@therecount) April 25, 2023
Less than an hour later, Jean-Pierre sought to clarify her statement and posted a tweet saying that if re-elected, Biden would serve all 8 years. This “clean up job,” as many have called it, was clearly necessary to avoid further scrutiny of Biden’s age and fitness to serve a full eight years in office.
As you know, we take following the law seriously. So I wanted to be sure that I didn't go into 2024 more than is appropriate under the law. But I can confirm that if re-elected, @POTUS would serve all 8 years. https://t.co/n9OfMV4D1Y
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) April 25, 2023
Although Biden, who is the oldest person to become president at 80, made his re-election campaign official with a video showing that he is sticking with Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate, a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed that only 26% of Americans and 47% of Democrats want Biden to run again.
However, 78% of Democrats said they approve of Biden’s job performance and 81% said they would at least probably support Biden if he becomes the nominee in the general election.
That said, no one wants to see Harris in the oval office. She the only one less popular than Biden but the duo seems to be a package deal. With Biden's age being a huge concern for his base and Kamala standing by to take his position, things are looking pretty grim for Democrats.
Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 25, 2023
Donald Trump is also seeking re-election and is generally leading GOP primary polls by wide margins. This has Democrats worried that Biden, who many feel does not have the energy or vigor to be president for another four years, won’t be able to win against Trump and the GOP.
The White House’s quick clean-up job was clearly meant to put a stop to speculation about Biden’s age and ability to serve a second term. However, it will remain to be seen if Biden can effectively campaign and win over voters in the face of a formidable Republican contender.