Biden announces 2024 reelection campaign

By Leinz Vales, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Mike Hayes and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 5:37 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023
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5:37 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

AI-generated GOP campaign video may be harbinger of disturbing new trend for 2024, expert says

From CNN's Donie O'Sullivan

Military on the streets of San Francisco, an apparent bomb attack in Taiwan. Stark images that feature in a GOP campaign video released Tuesday.

But none of it is real. The ad was “built entirely with AI imagery.” 

The video includes a fake image of a crestfallen President Joe Biden slouched over the Resolute Desk – and comes amid rapid advances in artificial intelligence technology tools that create fake images, video, and audio. 

Misinformation experts had warned that fake content created through AI could be used in the 2024 election campaign.   

“This ad is almost certainly the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the use — and misuse — of generative AI in the 2024 election and beyond,” said Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert and professor at UC Berkley. 

The GOP ad includes a watermark on the top left corner with the message “built entirely with AI imagery.”

"While it can be argued that this ad was not explicitly deceptive, it is not hard to see how generative AI can be used to attack political opponents,” Farid told CNN.

Responding to the ad, the DNC’s Sam Cornale tweeted, “When your operative class has been decimated, and you're following MAGA Republicans off a cliff, I suppose you have no choice but to ask AI to help.”

3:46 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

White House downplays concerns over Biden's age following reelection campaign announcement

From CNN's Allie Malloy

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre downplayed concerns surrounding President Joe Biden’s age as he announced his reelection campaign Monday.

Jean Pierre acknowledged that the White House “understands” recent polls that show most Americans have little enthusiasm for another Biden run. 

“When it comes to age, it’s the same thing that we heard in 2020, right? We heard that over and over in 2020 and if you look at what the president has done these last two years — he’s been able to deliver and get things done, right? Where Republicans … are trying to pull us back not move us forward,” Jean-Pierre said. 

The press secretary then detailed Biden’s legislative accomplishments as proof of him being fit to run. 

“As it relates to the polls again, mindful of the 2024 election, and we understand what the polls are saying. I will say this, in 2022 — let’s not forget — more Americans voted for this president than any other president in history and let’s not forget in 2022 the midterm elections, against all odds … this president had one of the most successful midterm elections for a Democratic president in 60 years.” 

Jean-Pierre initially declined to answer the large majority of questions on Biden’s reelection, citing the Hatch Act, including whether or not Biden will commit to serving all eight years should he win reelection. (The Hatch Act is a 1939 law that aims to keep government functions nonpartisan and prevent certain federal employees from having an impact on elections. )

She later clarified in a tweet: “As you know, we take following the law seriously. So I wanted to be sure that I didn't go into 2024 more than is appropriate under the law. But I can confirm that if re-elected, @POTUS would serve all 8 years.” 

View the tweet, below:

2:17 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

Harris will make the case for Biden's reelection at abortion rights rally 

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

Vice President Kamala Harris takes part in a discussion about abortion and reproductive rights on the campus of the University of Nevada earlier in April.
Vice President Kamala Harris takes part in a discussion about abortion and reproductive rights on the campus of the University of Nevada earlier in April. (Jason Bean/Reno Gazette Journal/USA Today Network)

Vice President Kamala Harris will make the case for President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection bid Tuesday at a political rally on reproductive freedom, a Harris adviser told CNN, saying that "finishing the job" is about fighting to protect abortion and other rights facing nationwide restrictions.

Harris will "highlight the extremism of elected Republicans and the unrelenting attacks on women and healthcare providers state by state," the adviser said.

The rally draws an immediate contrast with Biden, who is likely to shun more campaign-style events in the coming months. Earlier, a Biden adviser previously told CNN, "he’s just gonna keep doing his schedule."

The event at the vice president’s alma mater Howard University will be a high-profile moment for Harris, crystallizing her role as the administration’s lead messenger in its efforts to safeguard access to abortion on a day where all eyes are on the White House following Biden’s announcement. Abortion rights protests were featured prominently in Biden’s long-awaited reelection campaign announcement video.

But Biden and Harris face significant political headwinds in their bid for a second term, including low approval numbers and an unenthusiastic American electorate. A majority of voters, recent polling shows, does not want Biden to seek a second term, citing age as a major factor.

Still, the president said in his Tuesday video that "the question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer," a clear indication that issues like abortion will loom large in his argument to American voters. Abortion rights were a motivating issue for Democrats during the 2022 midterm election, and Biden officials hope to utilize the same energy in 2024.

"It’s a winning issue for them," a source close to the vice president’s office told CNN.

More about the vice president's remarks: Harris is expected to "describe the moment we’re in," according to the adviser. She will address what the adviser called "extremist" Republicans who seek to make abortion bans federal law. She’ll also discuss book bans, voting rights and gun safety, the adviser said.

Harris’ Tuesday remarks also come less than a week after the Supreme Court issued a brief protecting access to medication abortion and blocking a court ruling that revoked the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of the drug mifepristone while an appeal works its way through lower courts.

3:59 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

Biden touts his economic plan to union workers after announcing 2024 bid: "We now have to finish the job" 

President Joe Biden, who just announced his reelection campaign for president, delivers remarks at North America's Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden, who just announced his reelection campaign for president, delivers remarks at North America's Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

President Joe Biden touted his administration's economic plan hours after launching his reelection campaign while speaking at the North America’s Building Trades Unions 2023 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

"This feels like coming home, you know," Biden told the group of union members. "I'm here because there's no better place to talk about the progress we've made together, and wouldn't have made without you, and that's not hyperbole, that’s a fact."

"Our economic plan is working. We now have to finish the job. There's more to do. And you're leading the way, shovels in the ground, cranes in the air, factories opening – all those jobs created,” he added. “I make no apologies for me labeled the most pro-union president in American history. I'm proud of it, I really am.” 

In a campaign style remarks, Biden added that his economic plan is a blue collar blueprint "to rebuild America."

Biden, speaking to a very receptive room, touted his administration’s legislative achievements, including the Inflation Reduction Act, saying: “We beat big pharma” even “without a single Republican vote.”

“It surprised me. I've had more than half a dozen Republicans I used to serve with in the Senate come up to me — and I gave my word, I'd never say who they were, and I never will — 'Joe, we agree with you, but if I do this, I'll lose a primary,’ ” he said. “Not a profile in courage, but an acknowledgement.”

The president did not explicitly acknowledge his newly-announced reelection bid — though the audience did by interrupting Biden’s pledge to “finish the job” and deliver a manufacturing boom with chants of “Four more years.”

Biden also repeated criticisms of House Republicans, including Speaker Kevin McCarthy — blasting him for seeking to slash social spending as leverage in ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.

“It’s the same old trickle down, dressed up in MAGA clothing, only worse, because this time they're saying if they don't get their way ... they’re going to let the country default on the debt,” he said.

CNN's From DJ Judd contributed to this report.

4:01 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

Biden speaks to union members following announcement of 2024 reelection campaign

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Joe Biden speaks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions 2023 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden speaks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions 2023 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. (Pool)

President Joe Biden is speaking in the North America’s Building Trades Unions 2023 Legislative Conference now in Washington, DC, after announcing his 2024 reelection bid earlier Tuesday.

According to the White House, Biden is set to stress his economic agenda to a key part of his base – union members. He he will “highlight his record as America’s most pro-union President, the progress of his Investing in America agenda which is building the economy from the middle out and the bottom up—creating new opportunities for hardworking Americans, and why we must finish the job,” a White House official said on background Monday.

The group represents more than three million “skilled craft professionals” in the United States, as well as Canada. Earlier Tuesday, Biden picked up the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

“In his remarks, the President will highlight the nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs created and the more than $400 billion in private sector investments in manufacturing announced since he took office, as a result of his Investing in America agenda,” the official said. “He’ll discuss how shovels in the ground, cranes in the air, and factories opening means jobs for hardworking Americans including the IBEW, Ironworkers, Boilermakers, Teamsters, Laborers, Bricklayers, Masons, Plumbers and Pipefitters, Painters, Plasterers, Operating Engineers, and Sheet Metal Workers.”

As he has in recent weeks, Biden will contrast his economic plans with those of Republicans. The official said Biden will, “discuss the potentially devastating impact of Speaker McCarthy’s push to raise energy prices and send manufacturing jobs overseas by repealing the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits in exchange for tax giveaways that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.”

In the lead up to his bid for a second term, the White House has targeted Republicans, specifically on the economy. In a statement released Monday night, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt limit bill would, “cut the American economy off at the knees,” pointing to a Moody’s Analytics analysis of the plan.

“President Biden believes we should be investing in America to revitalize American manufacturing, not holding our economy hostage over disastrous proposals that would lead hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs,” Jean-Pierre said.

Meanwhile, as CNN previously reported, Vice President Kamala Harris, who has used reproductive rights increasingly as part of her public agenda, will address a rally for reproductive freedom at Howard University – another Biden-Harris friendly crowd and Harris’ alma mater.

12:14 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

Biden is tied for second-lowest approval rating of any president in the past 70 years

From CNN's Jennifer Agiesta and Christopher Hickley

The latest CNN Poll of Polls, which includes a new CBS poll, finds that President Joe Biden’s approval rating among all adults stands at 41%, with 56% disapproving.

The 41% approval rating is similar to formal presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter at this stage of their presidencies.

A new survey from CBS News adds to the growing body of polling that shows Biden begins his reelection campaign with tepid support from his own party, largely driven by concerns about his age. The survey also finds, though, that most Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who plan to vote in next year’s primaries would consider supporting Biden for the nomination.

Conducted in the days leading up to Biden’s announcement, the CBS poll finds that 55% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say that Biden should run for reelection, while 45% say he should not. Broad majorities of those who favor a Biden run point to his performance as President (89%), his ability to defeat Donald Trump (83%) and his personal qualities (79%) as reasons for that support. Those opposed, though, broadly focus on his age (86%) and that it’s time for someone new (77%).  

In the end, 79% of Democrats and Democratic-leaners who say they plan to vote in the Democratic primaries say they would consider backing Biden for the party’s nod.                                      

The findings in the CBS poll are similar to those in other recent polls in showing middling Democratic support for Biden’s reelection bid, including surveys from NBC NewsAP-NORC and CNN

12:02 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

Key things to know about Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of Biden's Democratic challengers

From CNN's Eric Bradner and Jeff Zeleny

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially announces his candidacy for President on April 19 in Boston.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially announces his candidacy for President on April 19 in Boston. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the anti-vaccine activist and environmental lawyer, described himself as a truth-teller who will “end the division” as he launched his bid for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination last Wednesday in Boston.

Kennedy used his campaign launch speech to lambast school and business closures during the coronavirus pandemic and to insist that government and media “lie to us.” 

“My mission over the next 18 months of this campaign and throughout my presidency,” he said, “will be to end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power that is threatening now – threatening now – to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism in our country; to commoditize our children, our purple mountain’s majesty; to poison our children and our people with chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs; to strip-mine our assets; to hollow out the middle class and keep us in a constant state of war.”

The 69-year-old Kennedy is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and son of former US attorney general and assassinated 1968 presidential candidate Robert Kennedy. 

President Joe Biden, who entered the 2024 race Tuesday, now joins Kennedy and self-help guru Marianne Williamson in the presidential primary. CNN reported last week that to the confident advisers in the Biden orbit and their wider circle of supporters, the Kennedy challenge only serves to reinforce the president’s strength. 

The Democratic National Committee has made very clear, meanwhile, that the party apparatus is aligned with Biden. No plans for primary debates are underway.

One hurdle likely facing Kennedy as he attempts to win over Democratic voters: his own family. Some Kennedy family members have denounced his views on vaccines. He has also clashed with his mother and siblings over his support for the release of Sirhan Sirhan, the man who shot and killed his father in a moment that changed US history.

He acknowledged in his speech the opposition within his own family to his presidential bid.

“Other members of my family who are not here today – I’m going to make a confession because I know most American families, they never have any differences with each other,” he said. “So when that happens with a family, it’s really huge news, like everywhere.”

Read more about the candidate here.

CNN's Edward-Isaac Dovere contributed reporting to this post.

11:03 a.m. ET, April 25, 2023

Biden faces unique challenges in 2024 presidential race

From CNN's Kevin Liptak, Arlette Saenz and Maegan Vazquez

US President Joe Biden speaks during the National Association of Counties legislative conference in Washington, DC, on February 14.
US President Joe Biden speaks during the National Association of Counties legislative conference in Washington, DC, on February 14. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Joe Biden, a career politician with decades of experience in Washington, entered his first presidential term in 2021 in the shadow of an insurrection and pervasive election denialism that has trailed him through his time in office. His 2020 presidential campaign was built on a belief that the election was a battle for the soul of the nation following four years of the Trump administration.

And it’s a theme he’s repeatedly tapped into throughout his time in office, going so far as to deliver an urgent rebuke of former President Donald Trump and those aligned with his attempts to undermine democracy ahead of the 2022 midterms, essentially arguing that the elections were a referendum on election denialism.

Coming out of a once-in-a-generation pandemic and taking office days after a history-making act of public upheaval and violence in Washington, Biden faces two unique challenges coming into the 2024 campaign.

First, the former congressional lawmaker elected to office as the sixth youngest US senator in history will be the first incumbent octogenarian to ask the American public to reappoint him to a term that would end when he’s 86 years old.

CNN reported in August that a campaign is a heavy lift not everyone in the family was initially on board for. But first lady Jill Biden told CNN during an interview in February she was “all for it.”

In October, the president maintained that voters concerned about his age should see his record of accomplishments since taking office.

“Well, they’re concerned about whether or not I can get anything done. Look what I’ve gotten done,” Biden told CNN's Jake Tapper. “Name me a president in recent history that’s gotten done as much as I have in their first two years.”

Biden will also face the unique prospect of possibly facing a former president as his potential challenger.

Trump, who has been indicted on business fraud charges in New York and remains under investigation for his actions as president, would have to defy historical odds to retake the presidency. The only US president to lose a presidential election and then regain the White House four years later was Grover Cleveland. And so far, some Republicans have been tepid about Trump’s presidential bid, especially after how poorly Trump-backed candidates did in key races in last fall’s midterms. Yet at this stage, Trump remains the clear Republican frontrunner, leading his rivals by double digits.

Biden has said he believes he can beat Trump again, but his bid does not allay recent fears from fellow Democrats uncertain about how he’ll fare against a different Republican leading the ticket.

Some top Democrats have privately told CNN they worry this could lead to a more difficult 2024 campaign against a younger, fresher Republican.

12:22 p.m. ET, April 25, 2023

Obama on Biden's 2024 bid: "He’s delivered for the American people"

Former President Barack Obama touted the Biden administration's accomplishments so far as he tweeted to mark the launch of Joe Biden's reelection campaign Tuesday.

“He’s delivered for the American people — and he’ll continue to do so once he’s re-elected," Obama said in the tweet, which shared Biden's video announcing his 2024 bid.

See Obama's tweet: