President Biden launches 2024 reelection bid; Kamala Harris to be running mate
Biden, 80, the oldest president in US history, made the announcement in a three-minute promotional video that begins with a one-word pitch: "Freedom"
President Joe Biden on Tuesday launched his 2024 reelection bid along with his deputy Kamala Harris and appealed to Americans to give them four more years to "finish the job" and defend democracy, raising the possibility of a rematch with their 2020 Republican rival Donald Trump.
Biden, 80, the oldest president in US history, made the announcement in a three-minute promotional video that begins with a one-word pitch: "Freedom".
Biden, a Democrat, argues that abortion rights, the defence of democracy, voting rights and the social safety net will be among the most important issues on the ballot in 2024.
"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. That's why I'm running for reelection as President of the United States. Join us. Let’s finish the job," Biden said.
Formally announcing to launch his re-election campaign, which has been anticipated for quite some time now, Biden said "every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they’ve had to defend democracy, stand up for our personal freedoms, and stand up for their right to vote and civil rights.
"This is ours. Let's finish the job, I know we can," Biden said.
Vice President Harris, who is of India-American and African-American heritage, would be his running mate for the 2024 presidential election.
"Joe and Kamala are running for reelection, and we need your help to spread the word,” his campaign said.
The official candidates from America's two main political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, will not be selected for more than a year, just months ahead of the November 2024 election.
In the video, Biden dubbed the 2024 election as a fight against Republican extremism, arguing he needed more time to fully realise his vow to restore the nation's character.
Trump refused to accept the results of the 2020 election, alleging election fraud. A mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol as Congress met to certify the election on January 6, 2021.
"When I ran for President four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America – and we still are. The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer,” Biden said in his video, which opened with images of January 6, 2021, insurrection and abortion rights activists protesting at the US Supreme Court.
"I know what I want the answer to be and I think you do too. This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection," he said.
Biden turned 80 in November. If re-elected in 2024, he would be the oldest president ever in America.
No major Democratic challengers are expected to emerge, and Biden is likely to enjoy an easy path to his party’s nomination.
But an NBC News poll recently found that 70 per cent of Americans, and just over half of Democrats, believe he should not run again.
Former president Trump, 76, is currently leading the Republicans to win the party's nomination to challenge him next November. Two Indian Americans Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswami are also in the Republican Party's presidential race.
Vice President Harris urged Americans to come together to fight for democracy, continue to make progress, and make sure all Americans can get ahead and thrive.
"This is a pivotal moment in our history," said Harris, who is the first woman and the first Indian American and the first African American to be the vice president of the country.
"For two years we have made transformational investments to build a nation in which everyone can be safe and healthy, find a good job, and retire with dignity. In response, extremists have intensified attacks on basic, foundational freedoms and rights,” Harris, 58, said in a statement soon after Biden's video was released.
"For example, they want to take away a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. They attack the sacred right to vote and attempt to silence the voice of the people. And they try to block common-sense reforms to save lives and keep Americans safe from gun violence,” she said.
"The Republicans running for President want to take our country backwards. We will not let that happen. Just like we did in 2020, we must come together to fight for our democracy, continue to make progress, and make sure all Americans can get ahead and thrive,” she said.
"Joe and I look forward to finishing the job, winning this battle for the soul of the nation, and serving the American people for four more years in the White House,” Harris said.
In a statement ahead of Biden's announcement, Trump alleged that the president “has totally humiliated our Nation on the world stage - starting with the Afghanistan disaster, perhaps the most embarrassing event in the history of our country. It meant so much to our enemies when they watched that horrible retreat." "Russia is teaming up with China. Iran is days away from a nuclear bomb - not even thinkable. Ukraine has been devastated by an invasion that would never, ever have happened if I was president - and Joe Biden has led us to the very brink of World War III. They say Trump was right about everything. Well, I’m not predicting World War III, but I will say this: we’re very close and they’re only talking about nuclear weapons,” he said.
"On top of it all, Biden is the most corrupt president in American history - and that’s not even close. Nobody can believe what’s going on, with again no retribution whatsoever,” he said.