President Biden on Monday told the Rev. Al Sharpton that former President Trump’s “anti-democratic” statements were a factor in spurring him to run for a second term.
“What made you decide to run for reelection?” Rev. Sharpton asked Biden in an interview on Sharpton’s radio show “Keepin’ It Real.” “What was the thing that really closed in your head saying, ‘I can’t go now. I have to do this four more years?’”
“The things that Trump is saying. Trump is saying things that are just off the wall,” Biden responded, appearing on Sharpton’s show on the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
“He’s the most anti-democratic … president in American history. The things he’s saying. And he means them. He’s talking about he’s running to get revenge on people,” Biden said of Trump. “It’s just outrageous things.”
The president noted his label of “anti-democratic” was in reference to the country’s system, rather than the political party.
Biden is running for reelection to the Oval Office in 2024. As the likely Democrat nominee, he’s headed toward a possible rematch of his 2020 race against Trump, the front-runner of the GOP presidential race.
The incumbent has faced scrutiny and criticism over his decision to try for another four years, with critics citing poor poll numbers and concerns about Biden’s age. At 81, Biden would be 86 by the end of a second term — though Trump is just a few years his junior, at 77.
The Biden-Harris team has shrugged off the polling figures at this point in the cycle and stressed that the president’s record will speak for itself. In warning against another Trump term, Biden and his allies have sounded alarms about threats to democracy.
Biden’s comments to Sharpton come the same day as the Republican Iowa caucuses, which kick off the party’s nominating cycle. Trump is headed into the contest with a double-digit lead in the polls, as his rivals Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis scramble to cut into his momentum.