“If Trump Wasn’t Running, I’m Not Sure I’d be Running”

It is possible that US President Joe Biden would not run for office again if his predecessor, Donald Trump, were not in the race, he was quoted as telling an audience of supporters during a fundraising blitz event outside of Boston on Tuesday.

The Democratic Party establishment views the ex-president and presumed Republican nominee as a unique threat to democracy in the country. Trump is facing a number of criminal allegations; opponents accuse him of playing a part in a purported plot to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia as well as in the Capitol Hill riot.

“If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” Biden told the crowd of supporters. “We cannot let him win.”

Electability was the Biden campaign’s key argument the last time Americans went the polls to pick their president; the Democratic Party leadership threw its weight behind the veteran politician in the primary election.

He gained momentum against progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders after several other candidates pulled out on the eve of Super Tuesday, when several key states hold their primaries.

The 81-year-old president’s ability to beat Trump again in a hypothetical rematch was cast into doubt last month, after a New York Times poll projected his loss in key swing states.

Biden has been treated as the presumed Democratic nominee by the party leadership and supportive media since before he officially launched his reelection campaign in April. His detractors, however, have argued that the lack of proper primaries is a disservice to the nation.

The criticisms were highlighted last week, after Democrats in Florida defended their decision to run Biden as a sole candidate in the March primary. Rep. Dean Phillips, who launched his bid for the nomination in October, blasted the decision as a move “to disenfranchise millions of Democratic voters.” Nevertheless, a PBS NewsHour poll in October showed that only 14% of voters rejected both Biden and Trump in favor of a third-party candidate.

Biden’s approval ratings have been hit recently by the Israel-Hamas war and his administration’s virtually unconditional support for the bombing campaign in Gaza, which West Jerusalem launched in retaliation for the deadly October 7 raid by the Palestinian militant group. Muslim American organizers from swing states have threatened to “abandon Biden” over the stance.

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