Updated Dec 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

“I will defeat him”: Biden calls Trump his 2024 motivation

U.S. President Joe Biden walks to the South Lawn before boarding Marine One and departing the White House on December 05, 2023 in Washington, DC.

President Biden walks to the South Lawn before boarding Marine One and departing the White House on Dec. 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden isn't sure he would be running for re-election in 2024 if former President Trump wasn't also in the race — but he says that other Democrats could beat Trump too.

Why it matters: Biden has repeatedly presented the 2024 election in stark terms, warning that "democracy is at stake" if Trump wins.

Driving the news: "If Trump wasn't running, I'm not sure I'd be running," Biden said at a campaign fundraiser event on Tuesday.

  • "But we cannot let him win," Biden said.

Biden said on Wednesday after a press conference that he thinks there are "probably" other Democrats who could beat Trump.

  • "I'm not the only one to beat him, but I will defeat him," Biden said.

Biden, who has faced concerns from voters over his age, has cast himself as the best candidate to beat Trump in a rematch.

  • Biden has presented Trump as a lethal threat to the nation, and he's built his campaign around defending Americans' freedoms that he says "MAGA extremists" are trying to strip away.
  • "I know him well and I know the danger he presents to our democracy and we've been down this road before," Biden said in April.

The big picture: Biden also cited Trump as motivation when he launched his 2020 presidential campaign, saying at the time that the "soul of this nation" is at stake with Trump at the helm.

  • "If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are," Biden said when he announced his presidential campaign in 2019.
  • "And I cannot stand by and watch that happen."

Go deeper: Biden's team sees a "very close" election in 2024

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional developments.

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