Biden Hill tells Democrats he’s staying in the race


Washington
CNN

President Joe Biden In a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday, he said he would continue his re-election bid despite concerns about his mental health and the credibility of his campaign, while hitting back at party “elite” in an interview ahead of a crucial week on Capitol Hill.

“Despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I want you to know that I am determined to stay in this race, fight this race to the end, and defeat Donald Trump,” Biden wrote in the letter. CNN.

Biden sought to put growing concerns about his credibility to rest in a forcefully written letter.

“The question of how to move forward has been on the air for well over a week now. And it’s time to finish. We have a job to do. And that is to defeat Donald Trump. There are 42 days until the Democratic convention and 119 days until the general election. Any weakening of resolve or uncertainty about the task ahead helps Trump and Hurts us,” Biden concluded. “It’s time to come together and move forward as a united party and defeat Donald Trump.”

It is a An important week for Biden’s political future He is seeking to ease the deepening fallout with the House and Senate back in session for the first time since the debate. A handful of top House Democrats Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries told Biden on Sunday that he should step aside amid concerns about downvotes in Democratic races.

Shortly after the letter was published, Biden called in to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” as part of a more “off-the-cuff” strategy to assuage concerns about his age.

But the appearance, though powerful, may lack its purpose.

Biden gave a long and occasionally off-topic response to a question about his letter to Hill Democrats calling for unity and chiding Trump for being on the golf course after the debate. Trump has largely stayed under the radar while Biden battles the news cycle.

“Well look — the Democrats — Joe, let me put it this way, the reason I’ve been on the road so much across the country is when Trump’s driving around in a golf cart, filling up the golf cart. The cart before he hits the ball — but anyway, he’s nowhere in 10 days, and I Was all over the country, No. 1,” he said.

He continued: “I have gone across the country for many reasons, one is to confirm that my intuition about the party still wanting me as a candidate is correct. All the data, all the data, shows that the average Democrat who voted there, 14 million of them who voted for me, still want me to be the nominee, No. 1.

And in a pointed rebuke to his critics, Biden said, “I’m so frustrated with the elites. Now, I’m not talking about you, but the elites in the party. They know a lot more. But if any of these guys don’t think I should run, run against me.” .Go up.Declare for the President.

A campaign official tells CNN that the president will continue to reach out to Democratic lawmakers this week. Tuesday will be a back-and-forth day as members plan to hold a scheduled caucus meeting with Jeffries, and one member told CNN they expected the dam to break. So far, no additional Democrats have publicly called for Biden to step down. Two sources told CNN that Tuesday’s meeting, the first time Democrats have convened since the June 27 debate, will be members-only and phones will not be allowed inside.

In the week following his disastrous debate performance, Biden personally reached out to about 20 House Democrats, a campaign official told CNN, and spoke with party leaders, including Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Representatives Nancy Pelosi and James Clyburn. One goal is to assure them that concerns within the party are being heard.

Since then, Schumer and Clyburn have been vocal in their support of Biden, while Jeffries has remained silent.

“I’m all for Joe,” Schumer told reporters when he arrived at the Capitol Monday and was asked if he supported the president continuing to run for re-election.

He won’t answer any questions about Biden’s mental and physical fitness to lead the nation for another four years.

Pelosi has said questions surrounding Biden’s disastrous performance in the presidential debate are “legitimate.”

Asked about Pelosi’s comments, Biden told ABC News, “It’s a bad episode. No sign of any serious condition. I was tired.

on a call with senior House Democrats Convened by Jeffries on Sunday, a half-dozen lawmakers voiced their own concerns during a conversation CNN described as “beautifully brutal.”

Those lawmakers — who include Reps. Jerry Nadler, Adam Smith, Mark Tagano and Joe Morell, CNN reported — represent Democrats on the Judiciary, Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and House executive committees.

Virginia Democratic Sen. A campaign official declined to say whether the president had spoken directly with Mark Warner. Organized a joint venture Biden should explore the possibility of an official request to step aside among like-minded senators. After news of the group’s efforts leaked out, Warner canceled a follow-up meeting scheduled for Monday evening, a source tells CNN. The next meeting with Senate Democrats and their leadership will be held on Tuesday.

Biden told ABC News that Warner was a “good guy” but had a “different perspective.”

Biden’s campaign on Monday raised a list of favorable statements from Hill Democrats, seeking to amplify the voices of confidence in the president’s candidacy in recent days.

On Monday, the Biden campaign held a donor call with its national finance committee, another sign of the outpouring. A major concern of the campaign is whether donors will continue to support Biden or redirect their money to House and Senate campaign efforts if he stays in the race.

Three participants told CNN that he is not out of the race and believes he is the best candidate to defeat Trump.

“My one job is to defeat Donald Trump,” Biden said, as Biden thanked donors and renewed his pledge to keep the campaign alive, according to one of the participants in the call.

A second participant said of the president’s determination to keep running: “He hasn’t budged an inch.”

Campaign chairman Jen O’Malley led the Dillon call, which drew more than 300 attendees, and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore offered a strong defense of the president, attendees told CNN.

Moore was among the governors He met Biden at the White House Last week, he told reporters after the meeting that he supported the president but acknowledged voters’ concerns.

During the question-and-answer portion of the call, Biden took questions from the donor about what he needs to do in the second debate, currently scheduled for Sept. 10, to do better than the first debate, where 51 million Americans watched him. Bending and low power efficiency.

Biden, dressed in a suit, with an American flag and family photos, outlined the strategy simply, two attendees said: “Attack, attack, attack.”

One of the final speakers on the call, DNC Finance Chairman Chris Goerge, “begged us to stay in line,” said one attendee.

Biden struck a negative note in the call with donors, saying the party needed to shift the narrative back to Trump and stress the critical issues at stake in November. According to a donor call, there was a fair amount of discussion “Plan 2025.”

Biden made it clear how damaging Trump’s agenda would be, including the economy, women and the LGBTQ community, one donor said.

Biden also laughed on screen when a donor said he would crawl through the glass for him.

Another participant on the call, who has been critical of Biden and his campaign for the past week, praised the president’s words on Monday and said the campaign seemed to “finally” understand the gravity of the moment.

The final test, this donor said, will be whether congressional leaders urge Biden to reconsider this week and whether the battleground map shows signs of widening, or whether the president’s support erodes in campaign polls this week over the long July 4 holiday weekend.

The Democratic donor spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid alienating the campaign. “It was already a steep hill to climb to win.”

This story has been updated with additional developments and reporting.

CNN’s Ted Barrett, Donald Judd and MJ Lee contributed to this report.

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