Biden, Harris set eyes on 2024 election

President blames Trump for dysfunction at the border, denies perception of him as welcoming was driving the surge of migrants, reports Asian Lite News.

US President Joe Biden is planning to run for re-election with Kamala Harris as his running mate.

“I would fully expect that to be the case. She’s doing a great job. She’s a great partner, she’s a great partner,” he said when asked about his vice-presidential candidate in the 2024 election at his news conference on Thursday.

A reporter pointed out that former President Donald Trump had set up his re-election campaign soon after taking office but Biden hasn’t yet.

“My predecessor need do to,” he said and joked, “My predecessor, oh God, I miss him.”

He said, “My plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation. I don’t even think about (it),” he said about the prospects of facing his nemesis Trump again. “I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party. Do you?”

Turning philosophical, he said: “The way I view things, I’ve become a great respecter of fate in my life.”

He said that his goal is to “change the paradigm. We start to reward work, not just wealth.”

He will be 81 years old in 2024.

Having already exceeded the goal of giving out 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine before the target day of 100 days in office, he raised the target to 200 million shots.

This was Biden’s first news conference and the 64-day lag since taking office was longest of recent presidents.

The hour-long formal encounter with reporters was a marked contrast to the confrontational style of Trump and the reporters. When he entered the East Room of the White House, the reporters respectfully stood up to greet him.

Since he is gaffe-prone when he speaks spontaneously, the encounter was carefully orchestrated with Biden calling up reporters from an apparently screened list on the podium of only reporters from media considered sympathetic to him.

Unlike Trump, who spontaneously called on reporters hostile to him and had it out, Biden did not take questions from anyone from media like Fox News that White House considers unfriendly.

Biden often looked at notes when answering questions.

(Xinhua/IANS)

The few times he raised his voice were when he condemned the Republicans for their opposition to voting rights legislation proposed by his party to expand access to polling.

He said that it is “sick”, “despicable” and “un-American”.

The selected reporters mostly obliged him with softball the questions.

The only forceful questions that put him on the defensive were about the migration crisis at the Mexico border, where thousands of people are trying to enter the country and children are being held under appalling conditions.

He blamed Trump for the dysfunction at the border and denied that the perception of him as welcoming was driving the surge of migrants.

He quipped, “I guess I should be flattered if people are coming because I’m the nice guy.”

But he distanced himself from the assertion that his attitude towards immigrants was bringing in more of them and said the surge “happens every single, solitary year… in winter when it’s cooler.

Biden said that Trump “dismantled all the elements that exist to deal with what had been a problem and — and has been — continued to be a problem for a long time”.

Biden said that most of those coming in were being sent back to Mexico but he was welcoming of children coming by themselves.

“The only people we’re not going to let sitting there on the other side of the Rio Grande (border) by themselves with no help are children,” he said.

He has been crticised for keeping children in the border patrol custody for longer than the 72 hours mandated by courts.

He acknowledged that some are held in “circumstances that are not acceptable” and said it could be resolved by sending the children to their relatives sooner and by creating more facilities to hold them.

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