Rep. Maloney Apologizes to Biden for Saying She Doesn't Think He'll Run in 2024 — Then Reiterates Skepticism

"Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run. I happen to think you won't be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%," the New York congresswoman said in an interview Thursday

Carolyn Maloney
Carolyn Maloney. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney is clarifying her support for President Joe Biden if he runs for reelection in 2024.

After stating that she doesn't think Biden will run again in the Tuesday night primary debate for New York's 12th Congressional District, Maloney went to CNN on Thursday to explain her comments. "Well first of all I think we all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to President Biden," she said. "He saved the country for running against former President Trump and he defeated him."

The New York congresswoman, 79, went on to describe Biden's term as "incredible" and "outstanding." She continued, "I think he's done an incredible job and is giving us a record to run on in the 2022 election, let's get to the 2022 election before we get to '24."

After being pressed on why she said she didn't believe Biden would seek another term, Maloney spoke directly to the president.

"Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run," she said. "I happen to think you won't be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%."

"You have deserved it," she added. "You are a great president and thank you for everything you've done for my state and all the states and all the cities in America."

As for why Maloney said it, she said it's simply her "own personal belief," but that she will support him regardless. "It's totally his decision," Maloney said in the broadcast.

Maloney made her remarks on Tuesday night as questions swirl regarding whether any Democrats might throw their hat in the ring against Biden in the 2024 president election.

For Maloney, she shrugged aside the question by responding, "I don't believe he's running for reelection," CNN reports.

Maloney is currently running against fellow Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, who dodged the same question, saying it is "too early to say" when asked at the debate if Biden should vie for the nomination.

Despite being longtime friends and allies who began their congressional careers in the early 1990s, Maloney and Nadler are now pitted against one another in the primary race for New York's 12th District, due to census redistricting.

While the White House has offered no indication that Biden won't run again, some have reportedly speculated privately that he won't.

On Jan. 20, 2021, he was sworn in as the oldest commander-in-chief in U.S. history at 78.

President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House
Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty

His predecessor, Donald Trump, was previously the oldest-ever president to take office. He was 70 at the time of his inauguration in 2017.

Age played a role in the 2020 election, with Trump claiming that Biden was secretly suffering from dementia. Trump meanwhile faced scrutiny of his own during some of his events, as when he seemed to struggle to hold a glass of water or walk down a ramp.

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Biden has pushed back against claims of age being an issue, saying on 60 Minutes a month prior to the election: "The same guy who thought that the 9/11 attack was a 7-Eleven attack. He's talkin' about dementia? All I can say to the American people is: Watch me ... see what I've done ... see what I'm gonna do. Look at me. Compare our physical and mental acuity. I'm happy to have that comparison."

Former President Jimmy Carter, the oldest living president at 96 (who was 52 when he took office in 1977), has said that he supported an age limit for those in the White House.

"I hope there's an age limit," he said in September 2019. "If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don't believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president."

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