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Biden’s 2024 bid faces turbulence as senior Democrats express doubts

Biden's 2024 bid faces turbulence as senior Democrats express doubts US President Biden gives a thumbs up as he boards Air Force One at Harrisburg International Airport in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on July 7, 2024. (AFP Photo)
By Agence France-Presse
Jul 10, 2024 2:52 AM

US President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign encountered a new set of challenges on Tuesday as senior Democrats voiced their concerns about his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. The party’s internal strife came even as Biden sought to bolster his international standing with a speech at the NATO alliance’s 75th anniversary summit in Washington.

Biden, who is 81, faces mounting pressure from within his own party over his age and recent debate performance against former President Donald Trump. The Democratic minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries, met with lawmakers from vulnerable districts where Biden’s age and debate performance could impact their election prospects.

According to a lawmaker who spoke anonymously, the meeting was described as “intense.” Another participant noted that the sentiment was “pretty much unanimous” in favor of Biden stepping down.

Despite these concerns, Biden appeared to gain some support during the full caucus meeting later in the day. Several lawmakers reaffirmed their support for the president, with Jerry Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, telling reporters, “He said he’s going to remain in, he’s our candidate, and we’re all going to support him — hopefully we’re all going to support him.”

The White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, confirmed that Biden remains committed to serving a full second term if reelected. In a conversation with the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday, Vice Chair Troy Carter expressed confidence in Biden, stating, “This president is ready, and we stand with him.”

Senate Democrats also engaged in discussions regarding Biden’s candidacy, reflecting the ongoing internal debate. While many top Democrats have publicly supported Biden, the party remains divided, particularly in light of his widely criticized debate performance.

House Democrat Mike Quigley voiced his concerns, telling CNN, “He just has to step down. The fighting spirit and pride and courage that served the country so well four years ago, helped Joe Biden win, will bring the ticket down this time.”

The debate over Biden’s health and the resulting divisions within the party have complicated the reelection campaign, coming less than four months before the election. Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado described the political climate as “complicated.”

Biden has responded to the criticism by emphasizing his commitment to the race and challenging critics to confront him at the party convention in August. He has downplayed his debate performance, attributing it to a “bad night” caused by a cold and jetlag.

The president’s personal doctor clarified that Biden’s recent visit to a Parkinson’s specialist was part of routine neurological exams.

As Biden prepares to address NATO leaders later today, his attempt to regain momentum faces skepticism. The New York Times editorial board criticized Biden’s approach, urging Democrats to be honest with him. The board wrote, “They need to tell him that his defiance threatens to hand victory to Mr. Trump. They need to tell him that he is embarrassing himself and endangering his legacy.”

Biden’s trailing position in the polls and the intensified media scrutiny on his capabilities overshadow his campaign, shifting the focus from his rival, Trump, to his own vulnerabilities.

Last Updated:  Jul 10, 2024 2:53 AM