Two top House Democrats running for reelection both declined to say if President Biden should run for reelection in 2024, adding to the chorus of Democratic lawmakers who are not sold on another Biden White House bid.
The comments came during a Democratic primary debate for New York’s 12th Congressional District. During a lightning round of questioning, the candidates were asked if Biden should run again in 2024.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, responded, “Too early to say. Doesn’t serve the purpose of the Democratic Party to deal with that until after the midterms.”
“I don’t believe he’s running for reelection,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, answered when asked the same question, despite the White House consistently saying that the president plans to vie for another four years in office.
Suraj Patel, who previously worked for the Obama White House, answered, “Yes.”
After the debate, however, Maloney in a statement said she “absolutely” intends to support Biden should he choose to run in 2024.
“I absolutely support President Biden,” Maloney said. “He has shown exemplary leadership, and I am thrilled by the historic legislation announced last week which makes investments to tackle climate change, lower healthcare costs and addresses inflation by requiring corporations to pay a 15% corporate minimum tax. If Biden chooses to run for President again, I absolutely intend to support him.”
Maloney and Nadler, both chairs of powerful House committees who have served in the lower chamber together for almost 30 years, are facing off against each other after they both decided to run in the 12th Congressional District that was drawn in redistricting.
Their comments come after other Democrats have thrown cold water on another Biden presidential bid, despite the White House consistently saying that Biden intends to run again. The speculation regarding another Biden presidential run comes amid a series of unfavorable polls for the commander in chief.
Last week, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) told WCCO-AM that he would not support Biden should he run for another four years, arguing that the country needs “a new generation” of Democrats.
“I think the country would be well-served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats who step up,” Phillips said.
Just days before that, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) refused to say if she wanted Biden to run for another term, telling KSDK News in her home state, “I don’t want to answer that question.”
And in June, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) would not say if she would endorse Biden should he run for reelection, telling CNN, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
The White House reiterated Biden’s plans to run for reelection after Phillips’s comment, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre telling reporters, “The president intends to run in 2024.”
“We are a ways away from 2024. We are going to continue to focus on doing the business of the American people, by delivering for families, by lowering costs for families, as we have seen,” Jean-Pierre added.
Not all of Biden’s democratic colleagues, however, are backing away from his 2024 ambitions. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters last month that “if he runs, I’ll support him” when asked if Biden should run for reelection.