Pnative Biden said he intends to run for a second term and will talk to his wife Jill Biden over the holidays about it. Biden expects to formally decide whether to run for re-election “early next year,” he told reporters on Wednesday. Asked if exit polls showing two-thirds of voters don’t want him to run again would influence his decision, Biden quickly said, “It doesn’t.” His message to these Americans? “Watch me.”
In an hour-long news conference in the White House State Dining Room the day after the midterm elections, Biden said he was encouraged by the election results. He said they showed him that the American public has rejected extremism, that “democracy is what we are” and that voters want Democrats and Republicans to work together to solve problems. Biden said he plans to welcome leaders of both parties to the White House in the coming weeks to discuss the way forward, regardless of the outcome of the final vote count. “I’m willing to work with my fellow Republicans,” Biden said, adding that he believed voters had sent a message that they “expect Republicans to work with me as well.”
Donald Trump signaled that he will announce he is running for president at an event in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday. Biden said he thinks he can beat Trump again and that if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis challenges Trump in the primary, “it will be fun to watch” the two “go head-to-head.”
Biden answered questions from nine news outlets at his third news conference in Washington since taking office nearly two years ago, grabbing the microphone and striding to the podium. Biden delivered lengthy, sometimes defensive arguments on a wide range of topics, including explanations of why Americans won’t start seeing the benefits of some of his policies until next year, such as infrastructure projects, lower medical costs and student loan debt relief .
As he spoke, Biden took several long pauses and slurred words and at one point confused the name of the Ukrainian city where Russian troops are withdrawing with a city in Iraq before being corrected by the reporter asking the question.
On Ukraine, Biden dismissed reports that the U.S. is pressuring Ukrainian leaders to be open to a negotiated compromise with Russia and doubled down on U.S. policy that Ukraine should make decisions on its territory.
Asked if he thought the U.S. should investigate the foreign funding Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter, Biden said he thought Elon Musk’s “collaboration and/or technical relationships with other countries are worth looking at.” Whether he’s doing something inappropriate or not, I’m not suggesting that.
Votes are still being counted in key races to determine the balance of power in the House and Senate, but the results so far are seen in the White House as a vindication of Biden’s measured approach to leadership and his warnings about the dangers that election-deniers present to the American democracy. Asked if Republicans were considering investigating his administration and his family if the GOP eventually takes control of the House, Biden said: “I think the American public wants us to move on and get things done for them.”
More election coverage from TIME