President Joe Biden hasn’t filed anything yet with the Federal Election Commission that would officially indicate he’s running for reelection. But partisan social media accounts have been falsely claiming that he has. The claims are based on a misinterpretation of a routine filing.
Partisan social media accounts, however, have falsely claimed that he has.
But the bogus claim that Biden “has just officially filed for Reelection with the Federal Election Committee,” as one Instagram post phrased it, appears to have come from one short-lived tweet that misinterpreted the meaning of a recent FEC filing.
Steve Herman, the Voice of America reporter who posted the original tweet, quickly corrected himself, writing on Twitter, “I misinterpreted the @fec filing and have deleted the tweet. Apologies for the confusion.” He explained that an official with the Democratic Party had told him that the filing was “just updating the form to change the treasurer name because the former treasurer is taking a government job.”
Also, that particular form — known as a statement of organization — wouldn’t necessarily signal that a candidate is running for office.
According to the FEC, someone running for president is considered a candidate when they’ve raised or spent more than $5,000 in contributions or expenditures to seek elected office — not including money spent to “test the waters.”
“All such candidates must register with a Statement of Candidacy (Form 2) and designate a principal campaign committee within 15 days of becoming a candidate as described,” according to the FEC website.
Other Indications of Candidacy
The FEC may not actually be the first place where a candidate’s intent to run is made clear.
“There are a number of milestones in becoming an official presidential candidate,” John Fortier, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told FactCheck.org in an email.
“It is true that candidates will at some point have to file with the FEC and create an official campaign committee, which will be the vehicle for certain direct fundraising and will have contribution disclosure and other legal requirements,” Fortier said. “But it is also true that there may be other entities and vehicles for campaign like activities such as an exploratory committee, former entities or entities used for running for another office, etc. And there are other more indirect outside entities that might work for a candidate, including political parties themselves.”
Also, he said, “Going forward, there are other milestones such as ballot access in states for the primaries and ultimately getting on the ballot for the general election as a party nominee.”
“Broadly speaking,” Fortier said, “the FEC will look at factors such as filings to be on the ballot, candidate statements, etc. to determine when a candidate should be creating a campaign entity.”
Typically, candidates for president announce their intentions to run in the spring of the year before the election, and states hold primaries and caucuses in the first half of the election year.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
“Biden says he plans to run for reelection in 2024.” CBS News. 25 Mar 2021.
Psaki, Jen. Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Jen Psaki En Route Fort Bragg, NC. Whitehouse.gov. 22 Nov 2021.
Federal Election Commission. FILING FEC-1627690. Biden for President. 30 Aug 2022.
Richman, Jackson. “JUST IN: Joe Biden Files to Run for Re-Election in 2024.” MSN. com. 30 Aug 2022.
Herman, Steve (@W7VOA). “I misinterpreted the @fec filing and have deleted the tweet. Apologies for the confusion.” (2/2). Twitter. 30 Aug 2022.
Federal Election Commission. FILING FEC-1516687. Biden for President. 18 May 2021.
Federal Election Commission. House, Senate and presidential candidate registration. Accessed 6 Sep 2022.
Federal Election Commission. Biden for President committee filings. Accessed 6 Sep 2022.
Fortier, John. Senior fellow, American Enterprise Institute. Email to FactCheck.org. 31 Aug 2022.