US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he intends to run for re-election and would likely make a final decision by early next year, after declaring the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections good for democracy. Biden, a Democrat who turns 80 this month, has faced questions on whether he will seek a second term.
“Our intention is to run again, that’s been our intention,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “This is ultimately a family decision.”
He said his family wanted him to run and he did not feel rushed to make a final decision. He said he would do so unrelated to any announcement from his 2020 rival, Republican former President Donald Trump, who is expected to run as well.
Biden has spent his first two years in office warning against threats to democracy after Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and did not accept Biden’s legitimate victory.
He underscored those arguments in the final days of the midterm elections.
Republicans made modest gains in the elections and are likely to take control of the House of Representatives, but control of the Senate hinges on three races that remained too close to call late on Wednesday. A so-called “red wave” or large Republican takeover did not occur.
“It was a good day, I think, for democracy,” Biden told reporters at the White House. He acknowledged that the results showed Americans were frustrated, however. Inflation was a big topic for voters.
White House officials have expressed a sense of vindication that Democrats did better than expected after Biden focused his campaign pitch largely on preventing threats to US democracy, securing abortion rights and extolling his economic policies.
Republicans are expected to try to undo some of those policies and prevent him from achieving further goals. Biden said he was prepared to work with Republicans.
“The American people have made clear, I think, that they expect Republicans be prepared to work with me as well,” he said.
Biden said he would veto efforts to pass a national ban on abortion and opposed tax cuts for the wealthy, two policy proposals Republicans may pursue.
He said when he returns from a trip to Asia he would invite Democratic and Republican leaders to the White House to discuss priorities going forward.
The White House has prepared for a host of investigations that may come from a Republican-controlled House, including over his son Hunter’s business dealings. Biden said the American people would look at such probes for what he said they were – “almost comedy” – but said he could not control what they did.
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