President Joe Biden said Friday that he plans to run for president again in 2024 and will make an official announcement soon.

“I’ve already made that calculation. We’ll announce relatively soon,” Biden told reporters on the final day of his trip to Ireland.

“So the trip here has only reinforced my sense of optimism about what can be done,” he added.

“I told them, My plan is to run again,” Biden responded when asked if he had made a decision.

Since the end of December 2022, speculation has increased about Biden’s plans for 2024. The president had already hinted on multiple occasions that he might run for re-election.

Recently, Biden and members of his cabinet embarked on what the White House calls the “Investing in America” tour to highlight his legislative and economic accomplishments, leading many to believe he is fine-tuning his political message.

Biden, at 80, is the oldest president in U.S. history. If re-elected in 2024, he will finish his second term at 86.

On Thursday, Biden delivered a speech to the Irish parliament in which he mentioned his age, while defending the possibility of a second candidacy.

“I am at the end of my career, not the beginning,” Biden said. “The only thing I bring to this race after my age – as you can see how old I am – is a little bit of wisdom.”

“I come into office with more experience than any president in American history,” Biden continued. “That doesn’t make me better or worse, but it gives me little excuse.”

Irish roots

During his trip to Ireland, Biden also spent time tracing his family history. He met with relatives, visited places significant to his ancestors and spoke passionately about his Irish heritage.

Biden shared numerous family anecdotes, cracked jokes and experienced emotional moments during the trip.

On the last day of his Ireland tour, Biden reportedly broke down in tears after meeting a priest who gave last rites to his son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015. Source: The Epoch Times in English

“It feels like coming home. It really does,” Biden told a large crowd Friday afternoon outside St. Muredach’s Cathedral in the historic town of Ballina, where he was greeted like a rock star.

Biden told the story of the cathedral, which has special meaning to his family.

Edward Blewitt, Biden’s great-great-grandfather, sold 27,000 bricks to St. Muredach’s Cathedral in 1828, which were used in the construction of the cathedral. The sale helped Edward and his family afford the tickets to sail to America and start a new life in 1851.

“In 1828, he was paid 21 pounds 12 shillings for helping to supply the bricks for this cathedral, 27,000 of them. Today I was able to hold one of them in my hand (…) These are heavy,” Biden told the crowd.

“I doubt that he ever imagined that his great-great-grandson would come back 200 years later as president of the United States of America. Isn’t that amazing?”

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