Sep 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Coons: Biden may wait 'til next year to decide on re-election bid

President Joe Biden (left) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) in December, 2016.

President Joe Biden (left) and Sen. Chris Coons. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), one of President Joe Biden's closest allies on Capitol Hill, predicted on Tuesday that Biden may wait until the middle of next year before deciding whether he will run for re-election in 2024.

Driving the news: Coons said the post-midterm election landscape will be a key indicator as to what direction the Democratic Party will take ahead of 2024.

  • "We haven't had the midterm elections yet," Coons told Axios and other reporters. "The outcome of the midterm elections will be a fairly strong indication of what the issues are that will shape the ground for the 2024 presidential."
  • "November 2024 is a long time away, and President Biden has always been someone who talked about the need for a transition to a new generation of leaders," Coons added. "The question is just when, and it's not clear to me that he's made up his mind about when that should happen."

Why it matters: The White House has insisted that Biden plans to run for re-election, but his top allies — and even the president himself — have been unclear about his future plans. During a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday night, Biden said, "It's much too early to make that kind of decision."

What he's saying: "He's seriously considering running," Coons said. "And I frankly think he means what he said in the 60 Minutes interview, that he's focused on doing the job."

  • Coons added, however, that there are "plenty of examples of previous Democratic presidents in our lifetime who had a rough first midterm but then came roaring back and won re-election."
  • "President Biden has a very strong record to run on. Both his approval, and the sense that the country is moving in a better direction, are improving in recent weeks."
  • If he runs, Coons predicted: "He'll beat Donald Trump again, if that's the way this race plays out."

Go deeper: White House reiterates Biden's plan to run for re-election in 2024

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