Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, two of the party’s establishment liberals who chair powerful committees and are competing for a Manhattan-area House seat, shied away from supporting the president when they were asked in a televised debate whether Biden should seek a second term.
Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary committee, said: “Too early to say. Doesn’t serve the purpose of the Democratic Party to, to deal with that until after the midterms.”
Maloney, who chairs the Oversight committee, said, “I don’t believe he’s running for re-election.”
Their comments follow West Virginia moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who declined Sunday to endorse the president for a second term, saying he wouldn’t get into it.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is more progressive than Nadler, Maloney and Manchin, also demurred when asked in a June CNN interview to say whether she would support Biden running in 2024.
Last month, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips said in a radio interview that he didn’t believe Biden should run again and that “the country would be well-served by a new generation of compelling, well-prepared, dynamic Democrats who step up.”
His Minnesota colleague, Rep. Angie Craig, earlier Tuesday told MinnPost that Democrats “need new leaders in Washington up and down the ballot” when asked if she would support Biden if he runs.
Biden, 79, has said he plans to seek reelection. But as the oldest person to have ever assumed the presidency, Biden has faced persistent questions about whether he will run for a second term.
While Maloney and Nadler each declined to encourage a Biden reelection bid, the third candidate in their primary, 38-year-old attorney Suraj Patel, backed the president. Patel, who has cast his campaign around a need for fresh voices in politics, said simply, “Yes,” when asked if Biden should run again.