WH Chief Of Staff Klain Won't 'Underestimate' Trump 'if' Biden Runs in 2024 White House chief of staff Ron Klain attends a weekly economic briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
By Fran Beyer | Monday, 10 May 2021 01:08 PM
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain says he’s not going to "estimate or underestimate" former President Donald Trump as an opponent to President Joe Biden in 2024 — but the question remains if either man will even be in the eventual Oval Office battle.
Trump has indicated he may run for a second term in 2024 but has yet to formally announce his candidacy and, in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that aired Sunday, Klain only said it was probable that Biden would run for reelection.
"I wouldn’t want to estimate or underestimate Donald Trump as an opponent if he chooses to run," Klain said, adding: "Incumbent presidents are judged on their record.
"President Trump had a bad record in 2020. Joe Biden is hopefully assembling a powerful record to run on if he runs for reelection in 2024."
The remarks were first reported by CNN.
At a news conference on March 25, Biden for the first time answered questions on if he planned to run for a second term.
"My plan is to run for reelection. That’s my expectation," said Biden, who at 78 is the oldest president at the time of taking office. "I'm a great respecter of fate. I've never been able to plan four-and-a-half, three-and-a-half years ahead for certain."
Trump told The Daily Wire last week that "people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement."
"The answer is I’m absolutely enthused," Trump said of the decision, "[and] I look forward to doing an announcement at the right time."
Trump has been hinting strongly at running again during several other interviews and speeches, including with Newsmax TV, telling Mark Halperin during a backstage interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February that he doesn't like to "play games" about who could defeat him for the 2024 GOP nomination, but he "can't imagine" someone else winning if he jumps in the race.
"I'm not sure that anybody should be able to win, other than us," Trump told Halperin. "Look, I've done a good job for this party. We had the greatest economy in history, and then we rebuilt it a second time."