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Tags: cornel west | joe biden | donald trump | elections

Cornel West: Not Sure I'll be Running Against Joe Biden

By    |   Friday, 15 December 2023 10:59 AM EST

Independent presidential candidate Cornel West doesn't think President Joe Biden will be running in the general election next year.

In an interview with Politico published Friday, West, 70, said Biden could abruptly end his reelection bid similar to how President Lyndon B. Johnson did in 1968.

"I'm not even sure whether I'll be running against Biden," he said. "Biden — I think he's going to have an LBJ moment [and] pull back."

Instead, West said he may be running in the primary against what he called the "B Team" of Democrats: California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Newsom has repeatedly denied reports that he will enter the 2024 race.

"I'm just saying that I'm open to those possibilities, given the fluidity of the situation," he said when asked about the prospect of Biden calling it quits. "He's running out of gas."

While things seem more "ironclad" on the Republican side, West said he's not ruling out the possibility that he could be running against someone other than former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, "if the weight becomes too heavy with the indictments and court processes."

Trump didn't receive high marks from West, who reportedly described the former president as a "bona fide gangsta, Neo fascist, Pied Piper leading the country for the second Civil War." But Biden didn't score much better, with West characterizing him as a "milquetoast neoliberal with military adventurism, possibly leading the world toward World War III."

West told Politico he couldn't make up his mind as to which candidate was worse.

"I'm more concerned about Trump domestically," he said. "I'm more concerned about Biden in terms of foreign policy."

The Biden campaign did not respond to Politico's request for comment.

"Cornell [sic] West should go back to liberal academia instead of playing pretend politics," Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Politico in an email Thursday. "He still hasn't graduated from the kids table."

West told Politico he didn't think the sitting Democrat president could weather the growing criticism he has been receiving from the left on issues including the economy and the Israel-Hamas war. He also addressed claims that his campaign will siphon votes away from Biden if he stays in the race.

"I don't accept the spoiler category," West said. "A vote for Biden, a vote for Trump is a vote for Biden and a vote for Trump."

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

Although West publicly campaigned for Biden in 2020, he said, when he entered the voting booth, he just couldn't pull the lever for him.

"When I got in there, I don't know if it was the Holy Ghost [but] something hit me: I said, 'Naw, I can't vote for this gangster,' " he told Politico.

Living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the time, West said he knew his vote wouldn't shift the Bay State's liberal bent.

"If I had been in Wisconsin, Florida, or something, I would have done something different," he said.

West launched his bid for the White House with the People's Party in June before switching to the Green Party and ultimately an independent candidacy in October.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Independent presidential candidate Cornel West doesn't think President Joe Biden will be running in the general election next year.
cornel west, joe biden, donald trump, elections
Friday, 15 December 2023 10:59 AM
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