Biden Claims He Doesn’t Care If He Faces Trump Or Haley
President Joe Biden addresses reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One for a trip to Los Angeles for a campaign reception on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he does not have a preference among the two leading Republican candidates running to face him in the 2024 general election.

“Oh, I don’t care,” Biden said in response to a reporter who asked if he would rather face off against former President Donald Trump or Nikki Haley.

Biden and Trump are seeking a second term, possibly setting up a 2020 rematch in November. Haley, a former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, is campaigning for a first term in the White House.

In December, Biden told donors that he was “not sure” he would be running for re-election if Trump was not also competing. He also suggested that “probably 50” other Democrats could defeat Trump in his place.

The president’s comments on Tuesday were made as he was departing the White House en route to California for a fundraising swing through the state.

A reporter asked Biden if his trip was about having a “plan B” and whether California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom needs to “stand by” in the lead-up to November.

“Are you ready?” Biden asked. When he got an affirmative reply, Biden said, “I’m looking at you.”

Biden did not answer the question as he pivoted to make a statement about the expected White House announcement of new sanctions against Russia on Friday.

Low approval numbers and concerns about his age — 81 — spurred by a flurry of gaffes have prompted debate about Biden’s electability and ability to lead effectively in a second term.

Trump and Haley have been campaigning in South Carolina, which is slated to have its GOP primary on February 24. Other GOP candidates have suspended their campaigns.

After contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and the Virgin Islands, Trump has 63 delegates while Haley has 17. A candidate requires 1,215 delegates to win the nomination.


Haley declared this week that she’s in the race until at least Super Tuesday, in early March.

Biden is the clear frontrunner in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but he is still facing some long-shot challenges, including from Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN).

Robert F. Kennedy is also running for the presidency as an independent candidate after a break with the Democratic Party over how it was conducting its election process.

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