As President Biden publicly says a decision about whether he’ll run again in 2024 has not been made, privately, he told Rev. Al Sharpton he plans to, NBC News reported Monday.
The president’s intention was shared in a private conversation that took place at the White House last month, and Sharpton told his National Action Network staff about it the same day, an NAN official said.
“I’m going to do it again,” Biden told Sharpton as they posed for a photograph together.
The president held a meeting on Sept. 2 with leaders from civil rights organizations to discuss a number of issues affecting the black community, specifically, and Americans in general, such as the cost of healthcare, policing reforms, women's rights, voting rights, and violence, The White House said.
It was in the context of his 2020 race that Biden confided in Sharpton at the Sept. 2 White House meeting. During a group conversation, Sharpton reminded Biden that the two had sat down in January 2019 on the sidelines of an event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. At the time, Biden had not yet declared his candidacy and was seeking Sharpton's endorsement — or at least a pledge of neutrality — in a field that would include now-Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., both of whom are Black.
Then, Biden solicited Sharpton's advice on running in 2020, avoiding a definitive declaration that he would contend. But, as Sharpton recounted for the group at the White House, that conversation nearly four years ago convinced him he was among the first to know that Biden would ultimately run.
When the civil rights meeting wrapped up, Sharpton made his way over to Biden for a one-on-one photo.
Biden told Sharpton he was right that he was among the first to know about the 2020 bid. Then he told Sharpton he was going to "do it again," Sharpton told his aides. (NBC News)
Publicly, Biden told "60 Minutes" last month that it's too soon to make a call.
“My intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again. But it’s just an intention,” he said. “But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”
While Biden may want a second term, 72 percent of Americans do not want him to run again, according to a Marquette Law School survey.