Rep tells reporter ‘off the record’ that Biden is not running again

Rep tells reporter ‘off the record’ that Biden is not running again
Carolyn Maloney’s assertion comes in an interview with editorial board of The New York Times

Democratic representative Carolyn Maloney of New York told the editorial board of The New York Times in an interview “off the record” that president Joe Biden is not running for re-election.

Ms Maloney, locked in a grueling re-election fight against longtime colleague and representative Jerry Nadler and attorney Suraj Patel to represent a redistricted Manhattan seat, was asked on 1 August by the Times’ Eleanor Randolph whether Mr Biden should run again.

“Off the record, he’s not running again,” Ms Maloney said.

“Not off the record,” the Times’ Jyoti Thottam said. “On the record.”

“On the record? No, he should not run again,” Ms Maloney replied.

But a statement is not considered off the record unless both parties have agreed in advance that it is, and Ms Maloney made the comment in an on the record interview. Over the weekend, the Times published a transcript of its interview with Ms Maloney with the exchange regarding Mr Biden’s political future included in full.

Ms Maloney’s assertion is one of the strongest yet regarding Mr Biden’s uncertain 2024 plans, coming as it does from a longserving Democratic lawmaker who has known the president for decades. Other representatives, including Dean Phillips and Angie Craig of Minnesota, have said that they do not want to see the president run again in two years.

A number of Democratic lawmakers have been asked about Mr Biden’s future, but Ms Maloney’s handling of those questions have been a frequent feature of her campaign to return to Congress. Shortly after her interview with the Times, but prior to its publication, Ms Maloney said during a debate that she didn’t think Mr Biden would run again. She then apologised to Mr Biden in an appearance on CNN, while reiterating that she didn’t think he’d run again.

“Mr President, I apologise,” Ms Maloney said. “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 percent. You have deserved it, 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. Thank you, Mr President.”

Ms Maloney and Mr Nadler have represented different parts of Manhattan alongside each other in the New York delegation for some 20 years, but redistricting drew them into a competition for a single Manhattan seat.

The competition has been intense and personal. Ms Maloney accused Mr Nadler of sexism and of using his Jewishness as a “divisive tactic” in the race.

Polls suggest that the contest is tight. Mr Nadler has run to Ms Maloney’s left, highlighting his opposition to the Patriot Act and Iraq War in contrast with Ms Maloney’s votes in favor of both George W. Bush administration priorities, whlie Ms Maloney has countered that New Yorkers should re-elect a woman at a time when reproductive rights are under attack. Mr Patel, meanwhile, has suggested that Manhattanites need a fresh voice to represent them.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer endorsed Mr Nadler earlier this week.