US Election: Biden Vows To Push On

President Joe Biden vowed to push on with his re-election bid, dismissing the concerns of some fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill and donors that his persistence could cost their party the White House and Congress in the Nov. 5 U.S. election.

Biden, 81, said any candidates who doubt his ability should challenge him at the Democratic National Convention in August – an effort that stands no chance of success unless he lets the delegates he won in primaries this year consider other candidates.

The bottom line here is that I am not going anywhere,” Biden said in a phone call he placed to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. He repeated that message to donors on a private call later in the day, according to two sources on the call.

Biden faces a critical week as he tries to shore up a campaign that has been on defense since a shaky June 27 debate against Republican Donald Trump, which raised questions about his ability to do the job for another 4-1/2 years.

Several congressional Democrats have called for him to drop out. A larger number have voiced concern that worries about his age and ability, on top of Biden’s poor public approval ratings, could hurt their prospects for retaining the Senate, which they control by a 51-49 majority, and winning back the House, where Republicans have a 219-213 edge.

Democratic Representative Adam Smith released a strongly worded statement calling on Biden to step aside after his “alarming” performance on the debate stage and “unacceptable” response in the days since.

Any candidate for the highest office in our nation has a strong burden to bear,” Smith said. “That candidate must be able to clearly, articulately, and strongly make his or her case to the American people. It is clear that President Biden is no longer able to meet this burden.”

Senator Dick Durbin, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, told reporters that Biden’s candidacy “will be thoroughly discussed this week, as it should.” He said he had spoken with about a dozen of his colleagues, who held a range of views.

Another Democrat, Representative Joe Morelle, said many of his constituents had told him they worried Biden was not capable of serving as president, though he stopped short of calling on Biden to drop out.

The bigger question is, how does he dispel concerns that were raised from his performance in the debate?” Morelle told reporters.

A number of Democratic lawmakers said the answer was for the campaign to give Biden more unscripted moments in front of voters.

Let Joe be Joe,” Senator Alex Padilla said.

 

 

 

Reuters/Shakirat Sadiq

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