April 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he has decided to run for a second term and will formally announce his re-election campaign “relatively soon”.
“We will announce it relatively soon. But the trip here has strengthened my belief in what can be done,” Biden told reporters at the end of an emotional trip to Ireland. “I said my plan was to run again.”
Biden has long said he wants to run for re-election, but the lack of a formal announcement has sometimes given supporters the jitters.
Yet behind the scenes, close aides and allies have begun taking steps to put a campaign infrastructure and fundraising apparatus in place ahead of a 2024 bid that could rematch Republican former President Donald Trump in 2020. Trump has already started his campaign.
Biden’s expected pitch is to “get the job done” after a first term that included several legislative victories, including billions of dollars in federal funding to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and new infrastructure.
But Biden’s age makes his re-election bid a historic and risky gamble for Democrats, who face a tough electoral map to hold the Senate in 2024 and are now in the minority in the House of Representatives. Biden’s approval ratings are stuck in the low 40s; He will be 86 at the end of his upcoming second term, nine years longer than the average American male.
Doctors declared Biden “fit for duty” after tests in February, who exercise five times a week without alcohol. The White House says his record shows he is mentally sharp for the rigors of the job.
Reporting by Don Whitcomb
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