Democratic Rep. Maloney says Biden not running for president again, thought she was 'off the record'

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., then said Biden 'should not run again'

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., told The New York Times earlier this month that President Biden wasn't running for the White House again, mistakenly believing what she was saying was "off the record."

The longtime congresswoman, who has made headlines with her wavering remarks about whether Biden is seeking re-election, was in the midst of a lightning round with the Times editorial board when she was asked by Eleanor Randolph if Biden should run again.

"Off the record, he’s not running again," Maloney said.

Editorial board member Jyoti Thottam noted, however, that they were on the record.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala on Sept. 13, 2021, in New York.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala on Sept. 13, 2021, in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

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"On the record? No, he should not run again," Maloney said.

In reporting, interview subjects can request to go off the record, meaning what they say won't be publicly reported, but reporters generally need to agree to those terms beforehand if the subject wants to have those wishes honored. Reporters honor "off the record" requests by interview subjects in order to build trust with sources and learn valuable information they can verify elsewhere. It's generally established both parties must be clear about what's off the record, however, or what the interview subject has to say may be fair game for reporting.

Left-wing Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin memorably made a mistake on that front last year when she fired off a furious email in response to questions from Politico and labeled it "OFF THE RECORD." Politico, however, noted it had made no such agreement with Rubin when she sent her message and published her answer in full, causing embarrassment for the columnist known for her fervent boosting of the Biden White House.

President Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 27, 2022.

President Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Since that Times interview, which was posted Saturday but conducted Aug. 1, Maloney had an awkward moment on CNN when she apologized directly to the camera on "New Day" for thinking Biden wouldn't run again. She reiterated that she believed he wouldn't seek a second term, but she said if he did, she would back him "100%."

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"Mr. President, I apologize. I want you to run. I happen to think you won’t be running, but when you run or if you run, I will be there 100%. You have deserved it. You are a great president, and thank you for everything you’ve done for my state and all the states and all the cities in America. Thank you, Mr. President," she said.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Maloney's office for comment.

Polls showed earlier this year that most Democrats didn't want Biden, who turns 80 in November and is already the oldest president ever, to run in 2024. His approval rating remains generally low, although the White House has touted recent legislation, like the sprawling climate and health bill passed by Democrats, as proof of momentum for his administration.

"He intends to run. He intends to run​," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

President Biden and Rep. Carolyn Maloney

President Biden and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (Associated Press)

At another point in the Times interview, Maloney was asked by editorial board member Mara Gay what she thought the average age in the House of Representatives was — she guessed 40, but Gay informed her it was 58. Maloney, 76, has served in Congress since 1993, but she is fighting for her political life in an unusual member-vs.-member primary with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., after a new map forced them to vie for New York's 12th Congressional District.

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The Times, whose editorial board leans sharply to the left, endorsed Nadler over Maloney in their primary.