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Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’s been the Democratic presidential nomination runner up the past two election cycles, is indicating that he isn’t ruling out another White House run in 2024 if President Biden decides against seeking a second term.

That’s the message from the 80-year-old independent senator from Vermont and leader of the progressive movement in a campaign memo distributed on Wednesday to political allies.

2024 WATCH: ARE BIDEN’S TRIPS TO IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE SENDING RE-ELECTIONS SIGNALS?

“In the event of an open 2024 Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Sanders has not ruled out another run for president, so we advise that you answer any questions about 2024 with that in mind,” reads the memo from 2020 Sanders presidential campaign manager Faiz Shakir. The memo was first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by Fox News.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, talk before a Democratic presidential primary debate in Charleston, S.C.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Sanders was the runner-up in 2016 to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a marathon and divisive primary battle that triggered fault lines between the party’s progressive and moderate wings. Sanders was runner-up four years later to Biden, during a much less fractious nomination race.

In May 2020, soon after he ended his second White House campaign, Sanders told the Washington Post that the “likelihood is very very slim” he would ever run for president again. And he added: “I think next time around you’re going to see another candidate carrying the progressive banner.”

Biden, who’s 79, made history in November 2020 when he became the oldest person ever elected president. If he campaigns for re-election in 2024 and wins, Biden would be 82 at his second inaugural and 86 at the end of his second term.

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Asked over a year ago at the first formal news conference of his presidency about his 2024 plans, Biden said, “My answer is yes. I plan on running for re-election. That’s my expectation.”

And he said in an interview with ABC News in December that “If I’m in the health I’m in now, if I’m in good health, then in fact, I would run again.”

Fox News’ Patrick Ward and Kelly Phares contributed to this story

 

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