Cornel West Says He Thinks Biden Will Drop Out of 2024 Race

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
December 15, 2023

Independent presidential candidate Cornel West said he believes President Joe Biden will drop out of the 2024 race.

"I’m not even sure whether I’ll be running against Biden," West told Politico in an interview published Friday. "Biden—I think he’s going to have an LBJ moment [and] pull back." The 70-year-old left-wing public intellectual referenced former president Lyndon B. Johnson, who, on March 31, 1968, announced that he would not run for reelection in the presidential election that year.

West instead said he may run against a "B Team" of Democrats, naming Gov. Gavin Newsom of California and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. Whitmer has said that she is not running for the office, as has Newsom, though many have speculated that the two have future presidential ambitions.

"I’m just saying that I’m open to those possibilities, given the fluidity of the situation. He's running out of gas," West told Politico. As for the Republican candidate, West said it was more likely that Trump would be the party's nominee, but he acknowledged that the former president's prospects could change given his legal troubles.

West had harsh words for both Biden and Trump, calling the former a "milquetoast neoliberal with military adventurism, possibly leading the world toward World War III" and the latter a "bona fide gangsta, Neo fascist, Pied Piper leading the country for the second civil war."

He also rejected the idea that he was a spoiler for Biden.

"There might be slices of people 'if I didn’t vote for West, I would have voted for Biden.' But that’s not to me, a spoiler," West said. "If you’re in a race, and you make a case, and they vote for you, how do you become the spoiler?"

A Thursday poll from Morning Consult and Bloomberg indicates West's presence in the race may not have a significant effect on its outcome. The poll saw Trump leading Biden in seven swing states when the ballot contained the two major party candidates along with third-party candidates, and Trump still led when the choice was between only Biden and him.

Published under: Joe Biden