WASHINGTON – As President Joe Biden unofficially kicks off his campaign with a trip to Wisconsin on Wednesday following his State of the Union address, several Democrats aren’t openly encouraging the president to run for reelection.
When asked if Biden should run in 2024, Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) deflected.
“I’m not going to answer that question,” Hickenlooper told the Medill News Service. “If the president decides he wants to run for a second term, I’m with him 100%. Show me another president in my lifetime that got more done in their first two years.”
But Hickenlooper’s rosy outlook of Biden’s presidency is at odds with a new ABC News-Washington Post poll, which shows 62% of Americans think Biden has not achieved much in his first two years in office.
Additionally, only 37% of Democrats think Biden should run for a second term, down from 52% before the midterms, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released this week.
While Hickenlooper, along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said they would back Biden if he runs, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) commitment level was more vague.
Ocasio-Cortez, who has not shied away from calling out Biden in the past, said on CNN Tuesday that she has “deep respect” for the primary process and that she would “enthusiastically support [Biden] if he were the Democratic nominee.”
Several members of Congress including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) ignored the Medill News Service’s questions when asked on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about the 2024 election.
In his State of the Union address, Biden called on Congress to pass police reform in the wake of Tyre Nichols’s brutal death at the hands of Memphis police; ban assault weapons; and cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for all Americans.
“We’re not finished yet by any stretch of the imagination,” Biden said.
He also reaffirmed his support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, promised a plan to lower the deficit by $2 trillion and said he would protect Social Security and Medicare benefits.
“I think he showed America tonight that if there’s someone intending to run against him, Democrat or Republican, obviously he’s ready to take them on,” Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) told the Medill News Service.
She added that his message was: “‘I’m leading this country and I’m leading it on a pathway of progress with a great future because America is strong and we can do things together as Americans.’”