President Joe Biden will be facing some long-shot rivals in the 2024 presidential primary race, but it seems clear that the Democratic National Committee will be doing everything in its power to ensure that he emerges as the nominee.
Another boost to the widely unpopular president’s re-election campaign came when U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) confirmed that he would not be throwing his hat in the ring. An Ipsos poll in February found that registered Democratic voters ranked Sanders second to Biden among several possible candidates.
In an interview a short time after Biden officially announced his candidacy on Tuesday, Sanders explained his rationale for endorsing the president.
“The last thing this country needs is a Donald Trump or some other right-wing demagogue who is going to try to undermine American democracy or take away a woman’s right to choose, or not address the crisis of gun violence, or racism, sexism or homophobia,” the senator said. “So, I’m in to do what I can to make sure that the president is re-elected.”
A 2024 bid was widely seen as the last opportunity for Sanders, who at 81 is even older than Biden, to launch another White House bid. He has competed in the two most recent presidential elections and attracted widespread support from the party’s far-left wing.
Earlier this month, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced he would be seeking the Democratic nomination, joining Marianne Williamson in vying against the incumbent president. For his part, Sanders suggested that he believes such challenges are a mistake.
“People will do what they want to do,” he declared. “I think Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee. And my job, and I think the progressive movement’s job, is to make certain that he stands up and fights for the working class of this country and does not take anything for granted.”
As for whether he intends to seek another term in the Senate next year, he remains coy.
“People in Vermont have not been asking that, only media here in Washington,” he said.
A number of Democrats have denounced the DNC’s decision to forgo debates between primary candidates.
DNC has already announced that it will not allow any debates in 2024 primary. Biden is not to be challenged. Everyone on the Democratic side must shut up and fall in line. Not having debates is undemocratic and ridiculous. No progressive should agree to this kind of power grab.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) April 24, 2023
Former Democratic Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, who co-chaired Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, tweeted: “It’s simple — I believe in democracy, therefore I believe in debates. The DNC, RNC, and every third party should hold that same belief in a democracy. This isn’t a radical idea.”