By Paul LeBlanc and Sonnet Swire, CNN
Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan said Sunday the Democratic Party needs “new blood” in Washington, but emphasized her support for President Joe Biden if he decides to run for reelection.
“He’s the sitting President. If he decides to run again, I’m going to support him, the party will support him,” Slotkin, who faces a competitive reelection in November, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I’ve been very vocal, including with my own leadership in the House, that we need a new generation, new blood — period, across the Democratic Party, in the House, the Senate and the White House,” she continued. “But if the sitting President of the United States decides to run, we’re going to support him.”
Slotkin’s comments come as there’s been a cautious warming among some in the party to the idea of Biden running for a second term, even if they’re not sure he should or will.
Biden is already the oldest president ever and tends to keep a lighter public schedule than his predecessors, which has led to questions about how extensive a campaign he’d engage in. His approval rating stood at 39% in the latest CNN Poll of Polls, with 52% disapproving.
People in and around the President’s orbit would like him to make a decision by early 2023, after he comes back from his traditional Biden family Christmas, possibly by Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“Look, my intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again. But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen,” Biden recently told CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” when asked whether he would run.
Slotkin, who served three tours in Iraq alongside the US military as a CIA analyst before becoming a member of Congress in 2019, hasn’t hesitated to call out the White House on policy, as she did over the summer when she faulted the administration for its earlier forecasts that the worst of the inflation crisis was already over.
She isn’t alone in saying she’d support the President. Even Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, an active supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2020 and frequent opponent of what she’s seen as Biden’s moderation, has told CNN that Biden “should” run, and “we will support him.”
But others are not so clear. Sources told CNN last month that many more elected officials on Capitol Hill than have said so publicly remain undecided on whether they want Biden to run again. However, they say there are also many more who are in favor of Biden running and are reluctant to say it publicly because they fear the perceived political consequences.
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