President Joe Biden, 80, formally announced his bid for 2024 reelection on Tuesday, a decision that will test whether Americans are ready to give the nation's oldest president another four years in office. Biden made his announcement in a professionally prepared video distributed by his new campaign team and said that it is his responsibility to defend American democracy.
The video opens with footage from the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021. He urged voters to give him another four years in office in order to help him "finish the job" despite plunging support.
Biden Takes the Plunge
The 80-year-old has entered the race despite rising concerns from his own party about whether he is the right candidate, dismal polling, and worries about his age (he would be 86 at the end of his second term).
Harris will stand by his side, the Democrat said, and he criticized "MAGA Extremists" for seeking to curtail "bedrock freedoms," reduce Social Security, and lower taxes for the wealthy.
"Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy. To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours," the 80-year-old president tweeted early Tuesday.
"That's why I'm running for reelection as President of the United States. Join us. Let's finish the job."
While announcing his bid for reelection, Biden also criticized the Republicans for seeking to outlaw books, restrict the "health care decisions women can make," and tell "people who they can love," among other things.
The opening three minutes of the video feature clips from the January 6 Capitol Riot, an abortion protest outside the Supreme Court, and him with Harris.
"Freedom. Personal freedom is fundamental to who we are as Americans. There's nothing more important. Nothing more sacred,' the campaign video released Tuesday continued.
"That's been the work of my first term: To fight for our Democracy. This shouldn't be a red or blue issue. To protect our rights. To make sure that everyone in this country is treated equally. And that everyone is given a fair shot at making it."
"But around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take those bedrock freedoms away. Cutting social security that you've paid for your entire life while cutting taxes for the very wealthy. Dictating what health care decisions women can make, banning books, and telling people who they can love. All while making it more difficult for you to be able to vote," says the video narrated by Biden.
"When I ran for President four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America. And we still are. The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer," the announcement video also states.
"I know what I want the answer to be and I think you do too. This is not a time to be complacent. That's why I'm running for re-election."
Big Job on Hand
Biden's announcement on Tuesday coincides with the four-year anniversary of his entry into the 2020 presidential election. But it has been in the works for days.
Biden recorded a portion of the video earlier this month while visiting his Rehoboth Beach family home. He is also slowly assembling a campaign staff, including appointing longtime adviser Julie Chavez Rodriguez as manager.
However, it's unclear when exactly he'll start his campaigning. He has a state dinner with the leader of North Korea on Wednesday, presents the Commander-in-Chief's trophy to the Air Force Falcons on Friday at a ceremony at the White House, and will attend the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday with Jill Biden.
NBC News conducted a poll on Sunday that revealed a startling 70 percent of people did not want him to run, while only 26 percent, or barely a quarter, did.
Biden, who does not consume alcohol and exercises five times a week, was deemed "fit for duty" by doctors following a test in February.
The White House asserts that despite countless slip-ups and gaffes, his track record demonstrates that he is mentally capable of handling the demands of the job.
His old age, though, makes his re-election campaign a historic risk. At least 59 percent of Democrats surveyed by Reuters/Ipsos in February believed that "Joe Biden is too old to work in government" describes the president.
A similar poll conducted earlier last month revealed that just 39 percent of people approved of Biden.