Hillary Clinton said this week she would endorse President Biden for a second term “if he decides to run” in 2024 — as questions swirl about whether the soon-to-be octogenarian chief executive will do just that.
“He’s the sitting president,” Clinton told NBC News’ Yamiche Alcindor on Wednesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
When Alcindor followed up by asking, “Would you endorse him?,” Clinton sounded incredulous.
“Look, I would endorse our sitting president — yes, of course,” she said. “This is a silly question.”
“Let’s go with the person most likely to win,” the former first lady, US senator and secretary of state added. “Joe Biden beat — in a huge landslide victory in the popular vote — Donald Trump. I think that says a lot.”
Alcindor later told MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell that Clinton said “absolutely not” when asked if she would consider a third White House run after unsuccessful presidential bids in 2008 and 2016.
On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris raised even more questions after she walked back a remark indicating Biden had already decided to run.
“The president intends to run and if he does, I will be his ticket-mate,” Harris told reporters on Air Force Two en route to San Francisco. “We will run together.”
On Monday, Harris appeared on CNN and emphatically told host Dana Bash, “Joe Biden is running for re-election and I will be his ticket-mate.”
Earlier this year, the president indicated he would be sticking with Harris as his running mate if he chooses to run.
“Are you satisfied with her work on this issue [of voting rights]? And can you guarantee, do you commit that she will be your running mate in 2024 provided that you run again?” NBC News reporter Kristen Welker asked the president at a January news conference.
“Yes and yes,” Biden said.
“Do you care to expand?” Welker asked.
“No, there’s no need to. I mean, she’s going to be my running mate, number one. And number two, I did put her in charge. I think she’s doing a good job,” Biden said.
If he runs for a second term, Biden will face an uphill climb to regain support among American voters. His average approval rating recently hit a record low of 38.8%, with 56.9% of Americans disapproving of his performance, according to data compiled by RealClearPolitics.
Since he took office, Biden’s approval rating has plummeted as his administration attempts to grapple with a series of crises — including the botched troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, supply chain backlogs and soaring inflation.