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Biden tells Al Roker: ‘I plan on running’

The president told the “TODAY” show co-host, "I plan on running, Al, but we’re not prepared to announce it yet.”

President Joe Biden told “TODAY” show co-host Al Roker on Monday that he plans to run for a second term.

“I plan on running, Al, but we’re not prepared to announce it yet,” he said.

Biden, 80, has consistently stated his plans to run for re-election. In a private conversation at the White House last year, he told the Rev. Al Sharpton that he will seek a second term, the civil rights leader told his National Action Network staff in Washington, NBC News reported.

“I’m going to do it again,” Biden said last year as he posed for a photograph in the Roosevelt Room with Sharpton, according to an official from the National Action Network who recounted the MSNBC host's description. “I’m going.”

Top White House advisers are preparing to make final decisions on launching his re-election campaign, several sources familiar with the discussions said. Several considerations in the decision-making process include that no major Democratic challenger has emerged; that former President Donald Trump, who is running for the GOP nomination, has been indicted and is consuming the political spotlight; and that there's a major clash coming with congressional Republicans over spending.

Despite lackluster approval ratings, Democratic power brokers have indicated that they are all in for Biden’s re-election bid even before he has officially declared his intention to seek it.

Biden’s remarks come as he broke with progressives on some hot-button issues ahead of the expected launch of his re-election campaign, including on crime, immigration policy and the environment. However, Democrats from across the party, from progressives and moderates to leadership and rank-and-file members — have said they plan to stick with Biden heading into 2024.

Biden is the oldest U.S. president in history. If he wins re-election, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.

The 2024 presidential race loomed large over Biden’s State of the Union address in February, even though he had not yet officially announced his re-election campaign. He touted his economic accomplishments and scolded Republicans in previewing the case he’s expected to make for re-election.

In his address before a divided Congress, Biden talked back as Republicans heckled him from the floor of the House of Representatives and stressed that he wouldn’t let Republicans “take the economy hostage” over the debt ceiling. Biden also slammed “the big lie” of widespread election fraud that former President Donald Trump has pushed. 

The president, however, also said the two parties can find common ground in the wake of Republicans' taking control of the House, which includes addressing national security concerns related to China, promoting U.S. manufacturing and regulating powerful technology companies, he said.