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Biden’s Message to Americans Who Don’t Want Him to Run Again: ‘Watch Me’

3 minute read

President Biden said he intends to run for a second term, and that he’ll be talking with his wife Jill Biden over the holidays about it. Biden expects to officially decide whether to run for reelection “early next year,” he told reporters Wednesday. Asked if exit polling showing two thirds of voters don’t want him to run again will impact his decision, Biden quickly said, “It doesn’t.” His message to those Americans? “Watch me.”

In an hour-long press conference in the State Dining Room of the White House the day after the midterms, Biden said he was heartened by the results of the elections. He said they showed him that the American public had rejected extremism, that “democracy is who we are” and that voters want Democrats and Republicans to work together to solve problems. Biden said he plans to welcome leaders of both parties to the White House in the coming weeks to discuss a way forward, regardless of the outcome of the final vote tallies. “I’m prepared to work with my Republican colleagues,” Biden said, adding that he thought voters sent a message that “they expect Republicans to work with me as well.”

Donald Trump has signaled he’ll announce he’s running for President at an event in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday. Biden said he thinks he can beat Trump again and that if Florida Governor Ron DeSantis challenges Trump in a primary, “it will be fun watching” the two “take on each other.”

Biden took questions from nine news outlets in his third Washington press conference since taking office nearly two years ago, grabbing a microphone and pacing out in front of the podium. Biden delivered long, sometimes defensive arguments on a wide range of subjects, including explanations of why Americans won’t start seeing until next year the benefits of some of his policies like infrastructure building projects, lower medical costs, and cuts in student loan debt.

As he spoke, Biden had a few long pauses and flubbed words, and at one point mixed up the name of the Ukrainian city where Russian troops are retreating with a city in Iraq, before he was corrected by the reporter asking the question.

On Ukraine, Biden pushed back on reports that the U.S. was pressuring Ukrainian leaders to be open to a negotiated compromise with Russia and doubled down on the U.S. policy that Ukraine should make decisions about its territory.

Asked if he thought the U.S. should investigate the foreign financing that Elon Musk sought to buy Twitter, Biden said he thought “Elon Musk’s cooperation and or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at. Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that.”

Votes are still being counted in crucial races to determine the balance of power in the House and Senate, but the results so far have been seen inside the White House as a vindication of Biden’s measured approach to leadership and his warnings about the dangers that election deniers present to American democracy. Asked about Republicans considering investigations into his administration and his family, if the GOP ends up taking control of the House, Biden said, “I think the American public wants us to move on and get things done for them.”

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