A top adviser for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he believes the 81-year-old democratic socialist will “take another look” at a presidential bid if President Joe Biden does not run for re-election.
Faiz Shakir, who managed Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign and now advises the senator, told CBS News on Thursday that he still thinks Biden will run again, but said that Sanders would be open to another bid should the Democrats need a candidate.
“I assume that he would give it a hard look,” Shakir said. “I don’t want to make the judgment for him. Obviously, it would be his choice to make. But I assume that he would want to reevaluate it.”
The adviser added that Sanders is “very aware that he’s older now and he’d have to make a real judgment about his own vigor and his stamina and his desire and hunger and passion to do this a third time. But if it were an open field? Yeah, I’m confident he would take another look at it and say, ‘Do I want to do this or not?’”
The Vermont senator ran in the Democratic primary in 2016, becoming the closest challenger to Hillary Clinton, who went on to win the nomination, edging out Sanders with help from the Democratic Party’s superdelegates. Sanders took another shot at the White House in 2020 when President Biden defeated him in the primary by a much larger margin.
Biden, 80, has faced questions about his physical and mental capabilities during his first two years in office. Nevertheless, the president has said that he plans on running for re-election, even as many on the Left hope for other Democratic leaders to steer the party in 2024. An ABC News/Washington Post poll from September revealed a majority of Democrats would prefer a candidate other than Biden in the next election.
The president, however, recently received support for another term in the White House from party leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and potential Democratic presidential nominee Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA).
“I’m all in; put me in, coach,” Newsom reportedly told Biden during an Election Day phone call. “We have your back.”
“He not only beat Trump once, I think he can beat him again,” Newsom said of the president. “I hope he runs, I’ll enthusiastically support him.”