There've been several poll that suggest that Democrats would rather the party nominate someone else for president, e.g. this or this. There've also been indications that Americans as a whole would rather someone else (since most of them don't want a Trump vs. Biden rematch), Biden's approval ratings are fairly low, and quite a few people have expressed concerns about his age.

Given that, has Biden ever explained why he is running? I'm looking for answers where Biden explains why he thinks he's a better president than other potential Democratic candidates (as opposed to Trump), or where he e.g. says there's X thing he wants to do that he hasn't done yet, etc. Wiki's article on Biden's 2024 campaign does not seem to have any such statements (as of time of writing).

  • 6
    Does the fact that someone who thought they would make a good president still thinks that really need much of an explanation?
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Jun 5 at 4:54
  • 1
    @Obie2.0 especially as the last time they checked, a majority of people agreed with that assessment
    – Caleth
    Commented Jun 5 at 8:25
  • 2
    @Caleth do they? From what I've seen, Biden's approval rating is rather low.
    – Allure
    Commented Jun 5 at 8:58
  • 6
    Biden's approval rating can be misleading, as he was always the centrist compromise in the face of Trumpism. He was the candidate everyone could live with that few particularly cared for. His disapproval comes from both sides because he's not notably liberal.
    – bharring
    Commented Jun 5 at 12:42
  • 1
    @StuartF well has he ever addressed the people who think he should step aside and let someone else run? If so, what did he say?
    – Allure
    Commented Jun 5 at 12:45

3 Answers 3


In Biden's campaign launch video (which is narrated by Biden himself) he lists various things he is for and against

  • Freedom and fairness ("to make sure everyone has a shot at making it")
  • Protecting Social Security
  • Ending tax cuts for the wealthy
  • Prevent dictating healthcare (shown with pro-abortion protests to emphasize his pro-abortion stance)
  • Prevent book banning
  • Not telling people who they can love (shows a picture of the man who filed the case that made gay marriage legal)
  • Making it easier to vote

He then says this (around 1:05 in the video)

When I ran for president four years ago, I said we were in a battle for the soul of America. And we still are.

A recent speech by Biden also mentioned tax increases on the rich

We’re just getting started. In a second term, we want to keep it going to level the playing field by making the wealthy begin to pay their fair tax. (Applause.) It ain’t even close.

I said I’d not increase the tax of anybody making less than $400,000 a year. Well, guess who — how much — guess how much the average federal tax rate is for a billionaire? We’ve got a thousand of them. 8.3 percent. 8.3 percent. It’s outrageous. If the billionaires only had to pay 25 percent, it would raise 40 — $400 billion. We’d be able to do everything we’re doing now and still reduce the debt.

Passing the Democrat's Voting rights act and stopping "book banning"

Folks, reelect Kamala and me and a Democratic Congress, and I will sign the John Lewis Voting Right Act and the Freedom to Vote Act tomorrow — (applause) — and we will make Roe v. Wade the law of the land again. (Applause.) It’s within our power to do this.

MAGA extremists ban books. Did you ever think — if you’re anybody over 30 years old — you’d go through a period where we’re banning books in America? They’re trying to erase Black history. We’re going to write Black history, because it’s American history. (Applause.) It’s American history.

And, finally, stopping Donald Trump

The stakes in this election couldn’t be higher. What’s at stake is nothing less than the fundamental ideal of America — it defines America: that we’re all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and should be treated that way throughout our lives. We’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never, ever before completely walked away from it, either.

And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Donald Trump be the reason we stopped being America. (Applause.)


FWTW, at one point late last year he said it was mainly because Trump was running, but then sort-of 'backtracked' answering a hypothetical.

“If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” he told donors gathered at a fundraiser in Weston, Massachusetts, according to The New York Times. “But we cannot let him win.”

[...] Hours after making the comments in Massachusetts, Biden tried to walk them back while speaking to reporters during his return to the White House. “I expect so,” he replied when asked if he would still seek reelection absent a rematch with Trump. “But look, he is running, and I have to run.” Biden was then asked whether he would consider exiting the race if Trump were to drop out, to which he responded, “No, not now.”

Related to that, a couple of months earlier, he was quoted:

“I’m running because democracy is at stake," Biden said. "And let there be no question, Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And I will always defend, protect and fight for our democracy.”

  • Does this mean Biden perceives himself as the candidate most likely to defeat Trump?
    – Allure
    Commented Jun 5 at 14:40
  • 3
    It means he claims his absence would make a Trump victory more likely. A subtly but importantly different claim.
    – bharring
    Commented Jun 5 at 14:48
  • @Allure Isn't that how every candidate sees themselves? As the ones who can win the election? Otherwise why would they be running in the first place?
    – Joe W
    Commented Jun 5 at 16:57
  • @Allure: AFAIK he hasn't put it quite in those terms, but he did say at least he's the only one who did beat Trump. (Even if that's obvious.) Commented Jun 5 at 19:03
  • IIRC, this was also the reason he gave in 2020. That doesn't mean that's the real reason, but since Trump is running this time too, the story is consistent.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 5 at 23:34

In a campaign speech last week Biden mentioned that for all that he did do in office he has not yet raised taxes on those who are earning over $400,000. That is something he needs a second term to do .

We’re just getting started. In a second term, we want to keep it going to level the playing field by making the wealthy begin to pay their fair tax. (Applause.) It ain’t even close.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .