President Biden Joins TikTok in Bid to Reach Younger Voters

President Biden declined to sit for a Super Bowl interview for the second straight year.
President Biden declined to sit for a Super Bowl interview for the second straight year.

Summary

The Biden campaign posted its first video during the Super Bowl, despite the administration’s national-security concerns of the app.

The Biden campaign has joined TikTok as it ramps up its efforts to reach younger voters despite national-security concerns over the app.

President Biden’s team posted its first video on Sunday night during the Super Bowl. The 26-second clip showed Biden answering questions about which team he was rooting for, his favorite Kelce brother and if he preferred the game or the halftime show.

The video, posted with the caption “lol hey guys," had more than 4 million views Monday morning.

Biden’s new TikTok strategy is an about-face. His administration has repeatedly expressed concern that the Chinese government could gain access to Americans’ user data or influence what Americans see on the app, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance.

Still, the app is one of the best ways for the Biden campaign to reach young American voters. More than 150 million Americans use TikTok, according to the company, and many of them are young people.

His campaign posted the video days after the release of a special counsel report that renewed questions about Biden’s memory. The report called Biden an “elderly man with a poor memory." At 81, Biden’s age has been one of his campaign’s biggest liabilities. The investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents yielded no criminal charges.

His campaign had stayed away from TikTok for months as Biden mounted his re-election campaign. Recently he has jeopardized his standing with younger voters over his handling of the war in Gaza and his push for a bipartisan plan that would restrict migration at the southern border.

Biden drew scrutiny for forgoing a TV interview before the Super Bowl for a second year in a row. The interview has been a tradition allowing presidents to reach their constituents before one of the biggest TV broadcasts of the year.

Instead of answering policy questions on TV, he answered other questions in his first TikTok video. He remained largely diplomatic, saying he couldn’t choose between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. “Hard to decide but if I didn’t say I was for the Eagles then I’d be sleeping alone. My wife’s a Philly girl," he said. He appeared to be standing in front of a TV with a Super Bowl broadcast, his hands stuffed in his pockets.

Write to Alyssa Lukpat at alyssa.lukpat@wsj.com

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