Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is the latest Democrat lawmaker to dodge the question on whether or not President Joe Biden should run for reelection in 2024, Fox News reported Friday.
In a recent interview with the Rhode Island Report podcast, Whitehouse was asked if Biden should seek a second term as president.
“I think it’s gonna be something to watch as we go through this election,” Whitehouse said, referring to the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. “Obviously, Biden is not on the ballot. He doesn’t need to make a decision now about 2024.”
“But I do think that from now through November is a really important period for the Biden administration to set the mark for how they’re going to campaign for 2024 and to establish the narrative,” the Rhode Island Democrat added.
When probed for a more definitive response, Whitehouse declined to offer one.
“I’m gonna duck that question, if you don’t mind,” Whitehouse quipped in an awkward fashion. “We don’t have any candidates yet for 2024, and I’m not picking amongst them.”
Whitehouse’s dodge comes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently declined to directly address whether he believes Biden should run again for the highest office in the land.
“I’m not focusing on that,” Schumer said when asked about the matter by SiriusXM show host Joe Madison.
“If we get a couple more seats in the Senate — right now, if the election were held today, we would pick up a few seats,” the New York Democrat then said of the November elections. “We’re doing great.”
Schumer previously vowed to support Biden if he opts to run in 2024.
Yet one Democrat, Rep. Dean Phillips (MN), has said he doesn’t want the president to seek a second term, arguing that a new generation of leadership should take over.
Philips weighed in on the question in an interview with Chad Hartman of WCCO-AM:
I have respect for Joe Biden. I think he has — despite some mistakes and some missteps, despite his age, I think he’s a man of decency, of good principle, of compassion, of empathy, and of strength. But to answer your question directly, which I know is quite rare, uh no, I don’t. I think the country would be well served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats to step up.
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has repeatedly asserted that Biden plans to run again in 2024.