REHOBOTH BEACH, Delaware (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday suggested that more moderate Republicans aren’t running for office in part because of their concern about their physical well-being.

Biden made the comment in an MSNBC interview in which he repeated his concerns about “mega MAGA” Republicans — what he describes as a minority of the party that has come under the sway of former President Donald Trump and are pushing disproven claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election and other extreme views.

“I think one of the reasons there’s not more mainstream conservative Republicans running out there is because they’re so concerned about not only their physical well-being but also the notion that how can they win when a minority of Republicans are showing up to vote and they’re really hardedge,” Biden said in the interview.

Biden made the comments not long after telling reporters earlier Friday that he believed the momentum will shift back to Democrats in the final days of the midterm elections and the party would do “just fine,” as GOP candidates have tightened or pulled ahead in key races that will determine control of Congress with less than three weeks until polls close on Nov. 8.

Offering an assessment of the political environment as millions of Americans have already cast ballots, Biden acknowledged that “polls have been all over the place” … “with them ahead, us ahead, them ahead, back and forth.”

But, he added, “I think that we’re going to see one more shift back to our side in the closing days.”

Biden said he was optimistic because “We’re starting to see some of the good news on the economy.” He noted gas prices have fallen in recent weeks and new federal data showed state unemployment was at an all-time low in 11 states and that 17 states had jobless rates below 3%.

He was speaking at the White House about a new report showing the deficit has shrunk in half from last year — a record reduction — even when including red ink from his plans to forgive student debt.

“Republicans criticized my economic record, but look at what I’ve inherited, and what I’ve done and look at what they’re offering,” Biden said.

Biden sharply criticized Republican plans to maintain tax cuts on the nation’s wealthiest and undo his efforts to bring down prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare. He claimed the GOP’s proposals would raise the deficit by $3 trillion, and labeled their policies “mega-MAGA trickle-down.”

“It’s the kind of policies that have failed the country before and will fail it again and will mean more wealth to the very wealthy, higher inflation for the middle class,” Biden said. “That’s the choice we’re facing. That’s why I think that we’re going to do just fine.”

In the MSNBC interview, Biden also said his wife, Jill Biden, has encouraged him to run for reelection.

He said, “my wife thinks that I — that we’re — that we’re doing something very important, and I shouldn’t walk away from it,” Biden said. He added that while he intends to run for a second term he is not ready to officially announce his reelection campaign.

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