The US midterm elections were “a good day for democracy,” President Joe Biden said on Wednesday, after Democratic candidates performed better than expected at the polls, despite predictions of a "red wave" - a landslide by the Republican Party - in the House of Representatives.
"We had an election yesterday. It was a good day, I think, for democracy," President Biden said at a news conference at the White House. "And I think it was a good day for America. ... Our democracy has been tested in recent years, but with their votes, the American people have spoken and proven once again that democracy is who we are."
While the press and pundits were predicting a giant red wave, it did not happen, Biden added, referring to the colour of the Republican party. The conservatives were well placed on Wednesday to narrowly take control of the House after Tuesday’s vote, but their rivals held up better than expected, even keeping their chances of retaining the Senate.
'Voters have spoken clearly about their concerns'
Biden acknowledged, however, that “there are still a lot of people who are hurting.”
"Voters have spoken clearly about their concerns, about rising prices (…) and the need to bring down inflation," he said, also mentioning concerns about crime and security, all issues on which the Republicans campaigned hard.
However, Americans also sent a "clear and unambiguous" message that they want to preserve US democracy and protect the right to choose in this country, he said, noting that abortion rights, which were shot down this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court, were a major campaign issue.
'Our intention is to run again' in 2024
The US President said he especially wanted to thank the country's young people, who reportedly voted at historic rates, "just like two years ago.”
Asked by journalists whether he would run for re-election in 2024, Biden had this to say: "Our intention is to run again. That's been our intention, regardless of what the outcome of this election was." However, he said this was "ultimately a family decision."
"I think everybody wants me to run but they're going to have discussions about it," the President said. "I don't feel in a hurry to make that judgement. My guess is that it will be early next year [that] we'll make that judgement."