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Democrats Plan Crisis Meeting Amid Biden’s Vow to Continue Campaign

Joe Biden

Congressional Democrats are holding an emergency meeting to discuss Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy following doubts raised by recent events, including a challenging debate and a primetime interview.

Hakeem Jeffries has scheduled a virtual meeting for Sunday despite Biden’s efforts to defend his position in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos.

In a 22-minute interview from a school library in Wisconsin, President Biden acknowledged his poor debate performance as “a bad night” but asserted he would only withdraw from the race if directed by divine intervention.

His response seemed to strengthen the resolve of some Democrats calling for his withdrawal, while others reportedly were privately angered by his seeming lack of concern over the potential for a November election loss to Donald Trump.

Asked by Stephanopoulos how he would feel if he had to turn the presidency back to an opponent he and his party loathe, the president said:

“I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about.”

The response appeared to downplay the implications of potentially conceding power to a rival who attempted to overturn the 2020 election results, incited a Capitol attack, and threatened retaliation against opponents if re-elected, a prospect that has deeply unsettled many Democrats.

Following similar actions, Hakeem Jeffries’ convening of Democratic House members comes after Senator Mark Warner of Virginia called for a meeting among fellow Democratic senators to discuss Biden’s candidacy even before Friday’s interview.

Joe Biden

Warner reportedly leads an effort within Senate Democrats encouraging the president to step aside.

After Friday evening’s interview, Democrats who had previously publicly urged an end to Biden’s candidacy reiterated their stance.

Despite projecting more confidence than during the June 27 debate with Trump, Biden appeared to dismiss concerns about his mental acuity or declining poll numbers.

Lloyd Doggett, a veteran Texas Democrat who was the first congressman to call for Biden to withdraw, stated that the interview only solidified his belief that Biden should step aside.

“The need for him to step aside is more urgent tonight than when I first called for it on Tuesday,” he told.

He added:

“Biden does not want his legacy to be that he’s the one who turned over our country to a tyrant.”

Mike Quigley, an Illinois congressman and the fourth to urge President Biden to step aside after Doggett, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, described aspects of Biden’s interview as “disturbing.”

He emphasized that it illustrated Biden lacks the vigor needed to overcome current challenges. Quigley also criticized Biden’s response regarding a potential Trump re-election, stating on CNN that simply giving his best effort is insufficient.

Julián Castro, a former Democratic presidential candidate and member of Barack Obama’s cabinet, acknowledged Biden appeared steadier in the interview than during the debate. However, Castro noted that Biden seems to be in denial about visible signs of decline.

Addressing Biden’s comments on a possible second Trump presidency, Castro said:

“I think the most chilling was when Stephanopoulos asked him, ‘Well, what if you lose to [former President Trump,] then how are you gonna feel?’ and President Biden said, ‘Well, as long as I gave it my all,’ that basically that he would feel ok.”

“That’s not good enough, for the American people. That’s not good enough with the stakes of Donald Trump winning.”

Tim Ryan, a former representative from Ohio – who has also urged a Biden withdrawal – echoed that sentiment, telling the same network:

“I think there was a level of him being out of touch with reality on the ground.”

He also said:

“I don’t think he moved the needle at all. I don’t think he energised anybody. I’m worried, like I think a lot of people are, that he is just not the person to be able to get this done for us.”

Despite continued support from Biden loyalists like Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and John Fetterman, a senator from Pennsylvania, doubts persist even among supporters.

Ro Khanna, a California congressman and Biden surrogate, expressed his belief that the president needs to demonstrate more vigor to effectively compete and win the election, emphasizing that one interview alone is insufficient.

“I expect complete transparency from the White House about this issue and a willingness to answer many legitimate questions from the media and voters about his capabilities,” Khanna said.

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