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White House stumbles over question about Biden serving out second term

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday had to clarify that President Biden would serve out a full second term if he’s reelected after she initially suggested he had not yet decided whether he would do so.

Jean-Pierre held a press briefing hours after Biden officially launched his reelection campaign. The press secretary, who routinely declines to weigh in on questions related to campaigning because of the Hatch Act, largely did not engage with any inquiries about the president’s 2024 bid or his decision to announce it Tuesday.

But asked whether Biden planned to serve all eight years if he were reelected, Jean-Pierre said she would not get ahead of the president.

“That’s something for him to decide. I’m just not going to get ahead of it,” she said. “And there’s a 2024 campaign. Anything related to that, I would refer you to that.”

The answer quickly made the rounds on social media. Biden, who is 80, has drawn scrutiny from Republicans in particular over whether he has the stamina to run for another campaign or serve out a full second term.

Moments after the briefing ended, Jean-Pierre tweeted out a clarification of her answer.

“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,” she tweeted. “But I can confirm that if reelected, @POTUS would serve all 8 years.”

The Hatch Act prohibits federal government employees from engaging in campaign activity in their official capacity. The Hatch Act does not apply to the president or vice president.

Source: The Hill

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