July 3, 2024

Days after the 2024 election’s first presidential debate, conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly announced that President Joe Biden had dropped out of the race.

On June 30, O’Reilly, the former Fox News host, posted on X, “The decision has been made that the President will quit the campaign.” The post, which had been viewed more than 5.4 million times as of July 1, cited Democratic internal polling that showed Biden “cannot recover from the debate” and Biden’s fundraising “drying up.”

Other social media users reshared O’Reilly’s post on Facebook and Instagram. These posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)


We contacted O’Reilly but did not receive a response by publication. O’Reilly’s post comes after widespread commentary that Biden did not perform well onstage during the June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump hosted by CNN.

As of July 1, there were no Biden campaign announcements or credible news reports that corroborated O’Reilly’s claim that Biden decided to end his reelection bid.

When contacted for comment, a Biden campaign spokesperson told PolitiFact on July 1 that O’Reilly’s post was inaccurate.

“I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to,” Biden acknowledged at a June 28 campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I know, like millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down, you get back up.”

Biden also said at the rally, “Folks, I give you my word as a Biden. I would not be running again if I didn’t believe, with all my heart and soul, I can do this job.”

First lady Jill Biden told Vogue magazine on June 30 the Bidens “will not let those 90 minutes define the four years he’s been president. We will continue to fight.” And a Biden campaign spokesperson told The Hill on June 28 that Biden was “not dropping out” of the 2024 race.

Biden’s campaign also rebutted a June 29 NBC News article that said Biden would discuss his reelection campaign’s future with his family. Biden HQ posted on X the same day that a Biden family trip was announced before the debate and “Joe Biden is and will be the Democratic nominee.”

On July 1, Biden’s campaign posted a new ad on X, highlighting claims former President Donald Trump made during the debate.

“Folks, I know I’m not a young man, but I know how to do this job,” said the post published on Biden’s X account.

In another June 30 X post, O’Reilly said, “So, it’s over for Joe. But the White House doesn’t yet know how or when to make the announcement.”

Then on July 1, O’Reilly posted on his website about Biden’s “next move.” In the post, O’Reilly said, “Because we don’t use anonymous sources, I cannot confirm the following as fact but I believe it’s true.” He added that “sometime soon” Biden will “step aside.” O’Reilly cited no sources to support this claim.

As of July 1, Biden had not quit the race. We rate O’Reilly’s June 30 claim False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. See the sources for this fact check here.

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Sara Swann is a staff writer for PolitiFact. Previously, she was a reporter for The Fulcrum, covering democracy reform issues. She's also reported for Delmarva…
Sara Swann

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