President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he is running for a second term, putting an end to any rumors that he might not run.
Biden, 80, is already the first octogenarian president. If he were to serve a full second term, he would be 86 years old, which is nine years older than Ronald Reagan was when he left office.
The 2024 election could also be a potentially rare rematch between a former president and sitting president. Former President Donald Trump is considered the frontrunner among Republican hopefuls, according to recent polling.
In making his official announcement, Biden released a video called “Let’s Finish the Job.”
“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,” Biden said in his campaign announcement. “That’s why I’m running for reelection”
If President Biden and Trump win their respective primaries, it would set up the first rematch of presidential contenders since Adlai Stevenson lost to Dwight Eisenhower in back-to-back elections in 1952 and 1956.
The last time a former president faced the sitting president who defeated him was in 1892 when Grover Cleveland defeated Benjamin Harrison after Harrison ousted Cleveland four years earlier.
According to Gallup, President Biden’s approval rating stands at 40%. Since the Eisenhower administration, only Trump has had a lower approval rating (39%) at this point in the first term.
But whether that’s any indication of whether Biden wins or loses next year remains to be seen. President Reagan had a 41% approval rating at this point in 1983. He ended up winning the 1984 election in a landslide.
President George H.W. Bush had the highest third-year approval rating among modern presidents at 86%. He lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton.
President Biden is also spending his third year in office battling an opposition House. Last week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy released a proposed budget as the U.S. faces a debt ceiling deadline. The debt ceiling controls how much debt the U.S. is allowed to use. If the debt ceiling is reached, the U.S. would go into default, which would likely hurt the nation's credit rating.
McCarthy has called on President Biden to negotiate with Republicans using the speaker’s framework.
McCarthy's proposed cuts would cap domestic non-defense spending and end certain COVID-19 relief programs, while reclaiming unspent funds. It would also implement certain work requirements for Social Security programs and freeze the federal budget at 1% growth for 10 years.
But some government agencies noted that over time, McCarthy’s budget could result in a 22% reduction in discretionary spending. Veterans Affairs claims nearly 81,000 jobs would eventually be lost among those employed by the Veterans Health Administration.
The White House has stated that budget negotiations should be separate from debt ceiling discussions.
“This is something that is their constitutional duty to do. They've done it three times. You've heard me say it over and over again. They did it three times in the last administration, and they should do it now,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
McCarthy has used the words of a number of Democrats, including Sens. Dick Durbin and Amy Klobuchar, to argue that President Biden should participate in negotiations.
“House Republicans have a plan. The Senate does not. And the President is ignoring the debt crisis,” McCarthy said. “President Biden has a choice: come to the table and stop playing partisan political games or cover his ears, refuse to negotiate, and risk bumbling his way into the first default in our nation’s history.
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