Not again, Carolyn!
Rep. Carolyn Maloney stepped in it once more over the possibility of President Biden running for re-election when she told the New York Times in an on-the-record interview earlier this month that “off the record,” Biden would not seek a second term.
“Should President Biden run again?” Times editorial board member Eleanor Parker asked Maloney, 76, in the Aug. 1 interview.
“Off the record, he’s not running again,” the congresswoman answered.
“Not off the record. On the record,” interjected Times opinion editor Jyoti Thottam.
“On the record? No, he should not run again,” Maloney said.
Traditionally, reporters and interview subjects agree in advance that certain topics will be discussed “off the record” and not be subject to publication. Attempts by a subject to say something is “off the record” in the middle of an interview are frowned upon.
The day after the interview, which the Times published in full Saturday, Maloney said during a debate against Rep. Jerrold Nadler and lawyer Suraj Patel that “I don’t believe he’s [Biden’s] running for re-election.”
Maloney stood by her remark in an interview with The Post the day after the debate, but then made a groveling statement of contrition during an appearance on CNN the following day.
“Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run,” Maloney said on CNN’s “New Day” Aug. 4. “I happen to think you won’t be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%.
“You have deserved it,” Maloney added. “You are a great president and thank you for everything you’ve done for my state, and all the states, and all the cities in America. Thank you, Mr. President.”
Adding insult to Maloney’s injury, the Times endorsed her chief rival, Nadler, to represent the newly drawn 12th Congressional District.
Maloney is not the only New York Democrat to show reluctance to say Biden should be the Democratic standard-bearer in 2024.
On Sunday, Rep. Jamaal Bowman was participating in a panel discussion on CNN when he backed away from giving Biden a definitive endorsement.
“If he’s running, I will support him,” the progressive Democrat said, before pivoting to suggest it was more important for Democrats “to continue to have victories in Congress, so that the American people can see we’re fighting for them. That’s the most important thing. And we have had those recently.”
Even Nadler ducked the question during the same debate at which Maloney made her bold statement, telling the moderators: “It’s too early to say. It doesn’t serve the purposes of the Democratic Party to deal with that until after the midterms.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged the president’s low poll numbers in an interview Sunday with ABC News, but insisted once again that Biden “intends to run” in 2024.