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US judge rules Biden’s student debt relief plan illegal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he intended to run for re-election and would likely make a final decision early next year, after saying election results Tuesday’s midterms were good for democracy.

White House officials expressed a sense of vindication that Biden’s fellow Democrats did better than expected.

Biden, who turns 80 this month, must have wondered if he would seek a second term. A Biden adviser said preparatory talks for a 2024 campaign were underway.

“Our intention is to run again, that was our intention,” Biden told reporters at the White House, his wife Jill seated nearby. “It’s ultimately a family decision.”

Biden said his family wanted him to show up and he didn’t feel pressured to make a final decision. He said he would do so regardless of any announcement from his 2020 rival, former Republican President Donald Trump, who is also expected to run.

Biden spent his first two years in office warning of threats to democracy after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 and did not accept Biden’s legitimate victory. He underscored these arguments in the closing days of the midterm elections.

When asked how other world leaders should view this moment for America, with Trump potentially back, Biden said the answer was to ensure Trump never returns to power.

“We just have to demonstrate that he won’t take power if he runs, ensuring that he — as part of our Constitution’s legitimate efforts — doesn’t become the next president again,” Biden said.

Trump strongly criticized Biden’s policies and said he would make an announcement about his plans next week.

On a potential competition between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination, Biden said it would be “fun to watch them compete.”

He acknowledged, however, that the results showed Americans were frustrated. Inflation was a big topic for voters.

Biden has focused his campaign pitch largely on preventing threats to American democracy, guaranteeing abortion rights and praising his economic policies.

Republicans are expected to try to undo some of these policies and prevent him from achieving other goals.

Biden has said he is ready to work with Republicans.