(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said dozens of Democrats could beat Donald Trump but he still has the best chance of preventing the Republican former president from returning to the White House.
“Probably 50 of them,” Biden told reporters Wednesday when asked if he believed other Democrats could defeat Trump, or if only he could do so. “I’m not the only one, but I will defeat him.”
Biden’s comments came less than 24 hours after he told donors he might not have sought a second term if not for the need to stop Trump from regaining power, a possibility Biden has called a threat to democracy.
“If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” Biden said. “But we cannot let him win, for the sake of the country.”
Biden Says He Might Not Have Sought Reelection If Trump Weren’t Running
Biden, 81, has faced persistent voter doubts about his decision to seek four more years in office due to his age, with polls showing the issue a top concern among voters. But allies have defended Biden’s choice, noting he was able to defeat Trump, who holds a significant lead over other candidates for the GOP nomination. Still, polls show Biden trailing Trump in a potential head-to-head rematch.
Biden, who sat out the 2016 presidential election after the death of his son, Beau, has said he was inspired to return to politics because of Trump’s handling of the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. Biden, who celebrated a birthday last month, is already the oldest president in US history.
The president’s campaign has downplayed the significance of Biden’s comments, with former Senator Doug Jones telling reporters at a campaign event Wednesday that he did not see Biden’s consideration of Trump as significant when deciding whether to run.
“We’re perplexed as to why that’s really a news story,” Jones, an Alabama Democrat, said. “That has been something that every candidate takes into account, who they’re going to be running against.”
--With assistance from Gregory Korte.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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