During his first press conference since taking office, Joe Biden revealed that he plans to run for re-election in 2024. When asked by CBS News’ Nancy Cordes, the 78-year old president stated that, “My plan is to run for reelection, that’s my expectation.”
Cordes pointed out that Donald Trump had already started a re-election campaign at this point in his presidency. Biden shot back, “My predecessor needed to.”
Biden got into it a little bit in a back and forth with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins over the remark. Per Mediaite:
“You also just made some news by saying that you are going to run for reelection,” Collins said.
“I said that is my expectation,” Biden said, interjecting.
“So is that a yes that you are running for re-election?” Collins said.
“I don’t know where you guys come from, man,” Biden shot back.
When asked if Vice President Kamala Harris would remain on the ticket, Biden replied, “I would fully expect that to be the case. She’s doing a great job. She’s a great partner. She’s a great partner.”
Biden is currently 78 years old, and would be 82 if he were re-elected in 2024.
WATCH: President Biden says it "is my expectation" to run for re-election in 2024.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) March 25, 2021
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Biden covered a few other topics in the press conference, including the border, the 20-year war in Afghanistan, and government transparency.
Biden Talks Border
As expected, the crisis on the southern border was a hot topic. President Biden pushed back on the notion that immigrants are coming across the border because the Biden administration has encouraged them.
Earlier this week, ABC’s Martha Raddatz interviewed a man who said he was making the trip to the border because Joe Biden had been elected. He said he would not have attempted it while Donald Trump was president.
In another clip, a woman told Raddatz that she made the trip with her 10-year old son now because “Biden promised that we could cross with minors.”
Asked about the situation at the press conference, Biden said the reason for the influx is not because he has told anyone to come. “I’d like to think it’s because I’m a nice guy, but it’s not.”
He said, “The reason they’re coming is that it’s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert, No 1. No. 2, they’re coming because of the circumstances in their country.”
Biden also claimed that his administration is turning away more people than are entering the country.
“If you take a look at the number of people that are coming, the vast majority, the overwhelming majority of people coming to the border and crossing are being sent back,” he said. “That’s what’s happening. They’re not getting across the border.”
Just this week, Biden appointed VP Kamala Harris to take charge of the situation at the border.
Biden says "I guess I should be flattered" that migrants are coming to the US because of the perception that he's a "nice guy."
But he says, nothing has changed…surges happen every year.
The reality: DHS Sec. has said this year is on track to be a 2-decade high surge
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) March 25, 2021
Troops To Stay In Afghanistan?
President Biden was also asked about the war in Afghanistan, and whether or not his administration will meet the May 1 deadline to withdraw thousands of troops.
He was also asked whether he thought that American troops would still be in Afghanistan by this time next year.
Biden stated that, “It’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline just in terms of tactical reasons, it’s hard to get those troops out.” But he added that, “I can’t picture that being the case.”
The Trump administration had brokered a deal to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by May 1.
As Barack Obama’s Vice President, Joe Biden was a strong supporter of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, and during his presidential campaign promised to end “forever wars.”
VP on Afghanistan: “We will leave in 2014.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 12, 2012
Biden said he had not been briefed on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recent visit to Kabul to meet with Afghan Commanders. He added that while the review of the situation is not complete, “it is not my intention to stay there a long time.”
"Will be hard to meet May 1 deadline," says President @JoeBiden on US troops pulling out of Afghanistan
— WION (@WIONews) March 25, 2021
Will The Media Finally Be Granted Access To Border Facilities?
Journalists attending Thursday’s press conference were eager to know if the Biden administration would lift the ban on allowing journalists to see migrant facilities at the border.
“I will commit to transparency and as soon as I’m in a position to be able to implement what we’re doing right now. This is being set up and you’ll have full access to everything once we get this thing moving,” he added.
Photos were recently released of overcrowded facilities and other less-than-ideal living conditions for unaccompanied minors.
Biden pushed back when ABC News’ Cecilia Vega asked if the living conditions for children at the border were acceptable to him. “That’s a serious question, right? Is it acceptable to me? Come on.” He went on to say,
“That’s why we’re going to be moving a thousand of those kids out quickly. That’s why I got Fort Bliss opened up. That’s why I’ve been working from the moment this started happening to try to find additional access for children to be able to safely — not just children, but particularly children — to be able to safely be housed while we follow through on the rest of what’s happening. That is totally unacceptable.”
Biden also took a shot at Donald Trump, accusing him of leaving children to “starve to death.”
Asked by Vega if Biden’s messaging contributed to unaccompanied minors trying to cross the border, Biden said, “The idea that I’m gonna say, which I would never do, that if an accompanied child ends up at the border we’re just gonna let him starve to death and stay on the other side – no previous administration did that either, except Trump. I’m not gonna do it.”
Biden: “The idea that I’m gonna say, which I would never do, that if an accompanied child ends up at the border we’re just gonna let him starve to death and stay on the other side — no previous administration did that either, except Trump. I’m not gonna do it.” pic.twitter.com/zhz10vP3jY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 25, 2021
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