Jake Tapper responded to “stunning” comments by President Joe Biden Tuesday stating that he might not have sought reelection in 2024 if former President Donald Trump wasn’t running.
The host of CNN’s “The Lead” called Biden’s comments, which were made at a fundraiser in Boston, an “incredibly candid admission” — and ones that “make it clear that Biden believes he is the only Democrat that can beat Donald Trump.”
While speaking at the fundraising event in Weston, Massachusetts earlier Tuesday, Biden said, “If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running. But we cannot let him win.” Biden made his comment while discussing the larger threat a second Trump term poses against American democracy.
“There’s no doubt that Trump was a motivating factor, of course, in Biden’s thinking about running for reelection. But as Biden is wont to do in these scenarios where he’s behind closed doors, he kind of reveals his innermost thoughts,” CNN political director David Chalian said, sitting with Tapper on “The Lead.”
“And what we’re seeing here is a real clearly defined rationale for Biden pursuing reelection despite his current political standing, which is not that great in the polls, obviously, the conversation about his age and concern among Democrats about if he is the best candidate to put forward,” Chalian continued, adding that Biden emphasized at the same event that “Democrats cannot let Trump win.”
“It raises the question, I know he’s the big frontrunner, [but] what if Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee?” Chalian posed. “Does that mean President Biden is going to reconsider his reelection effort? Is that is the key rationale for his running?”
Tapper also questioned whether or not “this is the kind of admission a candidate should be making.” He then named other potential Democratic candidates that could have a shot against Trump.
“Because if he thought Kamala Harris, or [Pete] Buttigieg, or [Gretchen] Whitmer, or [Gavin] Newsom, or [Amy] Klobuchar — if any of them, you know, could do it, just maybe doesn’t have as good a chance, but could do it, then theoretically, at least according to what he said, he might bow out,” Tapper said.
Tapper also didn’t let the opportunity pass to list the many “firsts” that the embattled and indicted Trump marks for the American presidency.
“These comments come as Trump is trying to flip the switch and make it as though Joe Biden is actually the biggest threat to democracy,” Tapper said, “even though Donald Trump is the first president in history that refused to leave office peacefully, the first one to now allow a peaceful transfer of power, the first one that staged an insurrection or incited an insurrection …”
Watch the full “The Lead” segment in the video above.