The Young Turks founder and former MSNBC/Current TV host Cenk Uygur has indicated that he will challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for the upcoming 2024 presidential election.
Uygur announced his bid on Wednesday, appearing as a guest on a show hosted by Ana Kasparian on his online news and politics network. Uygur said he is running against President Biden because, “We have got to get Biden out of the race. Thank you for winning in 2020, but if he loses this time around, it’s not just his problem. It’s all of our problems. I actually think democracy is on the line. And so if it takes me running, then that’s what I’m going to do, and we’re all going to do it together.”
Uygur, citing recent polling that indicates a tight competition between Biden and former president Donald Trump and alleged reports that people inside the establishment oppose Biden’s candidacy, views his running as one brought out of an emergency.
“Yes, I am a ‘break glass in case of emergency candidate’ it should not have been me. It should have been someone else. But unfortunately, it was not anyone else,” he said.
Uygur is not a natural born U.S. citizen. He was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and immigrated to the United States in 1978. The U.S. Constitution’s “natural born citizen” clause wouldn’t disqualify him from running for U.S. president, he claimed. The issue would end up in the Supreme Court, he said, and be a “slam dunk” victory.
Uygur’s Young Turks Network (TYT) spans numerous radio, web, television, and podcasts with content aimed at a progressive, left-leaning audience. TYT’s YouTube channel currently has 5.2 million subscribers.
With Uygur declaring his candidacy, he will no longer have editorial control of content at TYT but will keep his hosting duties on The Young Turks and other programs. Chief Operating Officer Jack Gerard has been named as interim CEO.
Uygur started TYT as a Sirius Radio show in 2005 and then launched a YouTube channel within the same year. His show moved to the now-defunct Air America radio network in 2006 until 2008.
In 2011, it aired as a TV show on the former Current TV for two years, ending up as a digital channel on Roku.
Uygur briefly served as a host of the 6 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC in 2011.