Biden allies reject calls for him dropping out of 2024 race


With Democratic leaders rallying around him, it will be up to Biden to decide whether he wants to end his re-election bid…reports Asian Lite News

Top Democrats on Sunday ruled out the possibility of replacing President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee after a feeble debate performance and called on party members to focus instead on the consequences of a second Donald Trump presidency.

After days of hand-wringing about Biden’s poor night on stage debating Trump, Democratic leaders firmly rejected calls for their party to choose a younger presidential candidate for the Nov. 5 election.

Biden, 81, meanwhile, was huddling with family members at the Camp David presidential retreat on Sunday.

The New York Times cited people close to the situation as saying that Biden’s family were urging him to stay in the race and keep fighting. The paper said some members of his clan privately expressed exasperation at how his staff prepared him for Thursday night’s event.

A drumbeat of calls for Biden to step aside has continued since Thursday and a post-debate CBS poll showed a 10-point jump in the number of Democrats who believe Biden should not be running for president, to 46 percent from 36 percent in February.

“The unfortunate truth is that Biden should withdraw from the race, for the good of the nation he has served so admirably for half a century,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said in an editorial on Sunday. “The shade of retirement is now necessary for President Biden.”

Democratic leaders rejected this.

“Absolutely not,” responded Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, one of several Democrats seen as a possible replacement for Biden.

“Bad debates happen,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press program. “The question is, ‘Who has Donald Trump ever shown up for other than himself and people like himself?’ I’m with Joe Biden, and it’s our assignment to make sure that he gets over the finish line come November.”

House of Representatives Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, who could become speaker next year if his party can take control of the House in November, acknowledged that Biden had suffered a setback, but this was “nothing more than a setup for a comeback.”

“So the moment that we’re in right now is a comeback moment,” he told MSNBC.

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a leading Biden surrogate, told ABC’s This Week program Biden needed to stay in the race to ensure Trump’s defeat.

“I think he’s the only Democrat who can beat Donald Trump,” Coons said.

With Democratic leaders rallying around him, it will be up to Biden to decide whether he wants to end his re-election bid. But other Democrats held open the possibility of choosing a different presidential candidate.

Representative Jamie Raskin, a prominent Democrat in Congress, told MSNBC that “very honest and serious and rigorous conversations” were taking place within the party.

“Whether he’s the candidate or someone else is the candidate, he’s going to be the keynote speaker at our convention. He will be the figure that we rally around to move forward,” Raskin said.

During the debate, a hoarse-sounding Biden delivered a shaky, halting performance in which he stumbled over his words on several occasions. Some Democrats later said privately that the showing could prove to be a disqualifying factor.

Washington Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — Combo photo shows U.S. Democrat Joe Biden (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump attending their respective events on different occasions. (Xinhua/IANS)

Blame game begins

President Joe Biden’s train-wreck debate with Republican opponent Donald Trump followed a series of decisions by his most senior advisers that critics now point to as wrong-headed, interviews with Democratic allies, donors and former and current aides show.

Trump, 78, repeated a series of well-worn, glaring falsehoods during the 90-minute debate on Thursday, including claims that he actually won the 2020 election.

Biden, 81, failed to refute them and his fumbling, halting performance has sparked calls from Democrats for him to end his quest for a second term and for “soul-searching” or resignations among top aides.

“My only request was make sure he’s rested before the debate, but he was exhausted. He was unwell,” said one person who said they appealed to Biden’s top aides in the days before, to no avail. “What a bad decision to send him out looking sick and exhausted.”

Others were even more pointed.

“It is my belief that he was over-coached, over-practiced. And I believe [senior aide] Anita Dunn… put him in a venue that was conducive for Trump and not for him,” said John Morgan, a Florida-based attorney and major Biden fundraiser.

Morgan suggested Dunn and other aides “be fired forever and never let back anywhere near the campaign.”

Biden’s debate strategy was signed off on by campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, who helped him win in 2020 and was appointed in January to boost an uneven reelection campaign. Dunn, a longtime Biden aide and former Barack Obama campaign strategist, backed that strategy.

Confidence going into the event was high. Trump was convicted of falsifying documents by a jury in New York on May 31, while Biden held back-to-back visits in Europe.

To the surprise of some Biden aides, his stubbornly low poll numbers began to inch up nationally in the weeks that followed.

Advisers set up a rigorous debate prep calendar, with Biden sequestered at Camp David for six days.

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