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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Biden Seeks Re-Election, Set Possible Rematch With Trump

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In a video posted online Tuesday morning, President Biden offered his second four-year term, urging voters to get this done, and launching the possibility of a rematch with former President Donald J. Trump.

In the three-minute, four-second video, Biden says he spent his first year in office fighting for democracy and freedom. And he uses Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan to warn that “MAGA extremists” across the country threaten those freedoms.

“Four years ago, when I ran for president, I said we were fighting for the soul of America. And we still do,” Mr. Biden added later in the video. “That is why I am running for re-election.”

Biden’s official declaration of candidacy comes four years after he said it was important to prevent Trump from winning a second term at the time when he would challenge for the 2019 presidential election.

Biden succeeded in 2020. But if Trump becomes the current frontrunner, the Republican nominee, Biden’s legacy will once again depend on preventing Trump from taking office.

The president does not mention Mr. Trump’s name in the video. But his hidden meaning is clear. It begins with the scene of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. When Biden says the words “MAGA extremists,” the screen flashes a picture of Trump resting his arm on the shoulder of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another potential Republican contender.

“Every generation of Americans has been faced with the need to defend our democracy,” said Mr. Biden. “Stand up for your personal freedom. Stand up for voting rights and citizenship. And this is our moment.”

Here’s what else you need to know.

It is unlikely that Mr. Biden’s schedule or message will change anytime soon. The aide said he was expected to stay on the same topic he had been focusing on for months. He claimed credit for improving the economy and attacked Republicans for abortion, tax cuts, guns, and bigotry. However, fundraising will increase rapidly. The president’s top donors were invited to a summit in Washington on Friday to begin raising funds.

Mr. Biden has already nearly passed the Democratic presidential nomination, despite concerns about his 80-year-old age as the oldest U.S. president in history and continued misgivings from many party members. Polls repeatedly show Democrats want a new face in 2024, but they don’t know who it is.

Biden chose Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the White House’s top adviser and top Latina, as his campaign manager. Quentin Fulks, who managed the 2022 campaign for Senator Raphael G. Warnock of Georgia, will serve as her deputy. Biden’s aides, including former campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon and his communications expert Anita Dunn, will remain in the White House for the time being.

Biden’s team is betting that his opponent will most likely be Trump, and they’re gearing up accordingly. But the president has already begun to intensify her criticism, calling all Republicans “MAGA extremists.”

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