Biden says he'd restore Roe v. Wade at start of 2nd term if re-elected

Biden says he'd restore Roe v. Wade at start of 2nd term if re-elected

U.S. President Joe Biden provided a brief sketch of what his first 100 days of a second Oval Office term would look like, as the veteran leader's re-election bid continued to face headwinds Friday from a still-growing faction of Democrat voices urging him to bow out.

The 81-year-old Biden spoke at a campaign rally held at Detroit's Renaissance High School on Friday evening, playing up his support for unions and his aim to work on behalf of working people in America.

But he also spoke about what he would do at the start of a second term — presuming he remains the Democratic nominee and then wins in November.

"The first bill I'm going to introduce will restore Roe v. Wade and make it the law of the land," said Biden. He added that a second term of his administration would also strengthen Social Security and Medicare, raise the federal minimum wage and get key voting-related legislation passed.

His comments did not address the congressional numbers the Democrats would need in the House and Senate to move these legislative priorities along during a second term.

U.S. President Joe Biden is seen at a campaign event in Detroit on Friday, July 12, 2024.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at Renaissance High School, in Detroit on Friday. (Carlos Osorio/Reuters)

During the rally, Biden took repeated aim at Donald Trump, his 78-year-old Republican rival, arguing the U.S. cannot afford another four years with his presidential predecessor at its helm.

"It's time for us to stop treating politics like entertainment and reality TV," said Biden. "Another four years with Donald Trump is deadly serious."

The two men are the oldest candidates to be competing for the Oval Office. Biden is already the country's oldest sitting president.

Continued pressure to drop out

Biden has spent the month of July trying to deal with the fallout from a poor debate performance he had against Trump on June 27

Yet despite media interviews and outreach efforts with congressional Democrats, Biden has seen — as of Friday — at least 19 Democrat lawmakers publicly call for his exit from the presidential ballot.

Rep. Mike Levin of California said in a statement Friday that he believed "the time has come for President Biden to pass the torch."

Prominent donors and party supporters have also put pressure on Biden to drop out in recent days.

Yet Biden received strong statements of support from two prominent Democrats on Friday — California Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a soon-to-be-broadcast CBS News Sunday Morning interview, and Rep. James Clyburn, who both said they support the incumbent president.

"I'm riding with Biden no matter which direction he goes," Clyburn told NBC's Today, while Newsom told Sunday Morning he's "all in" for Biden.

In Detroit, however, Biden signalled he does not intend to step away from his re-election bid.

"I'm not going anywhere," he said.

When the rally wrapped, a classic Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song played: I Won't Back Down.