Democrats Divided on Biden Staying in Race

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by R. Cort Kirkwood, The New American:

Democrats are still divided and debating whether President Joe Biden can remain in the race for president.

Concerns about Biden’s being the party’s candidate surfaced after his calamitous debate with former President Donald Trump, and significantly worsened with reports that Biden has Parkinson’s Disease and is degenerating neurologically.

Top Senate Democrats still support him. But a number of House Democrats want Biden to step aside.

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Biden says nothing doing. I’m in it to win it.

Senate Democrats

Biden has the support of the most powerful Democrat in the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Washington Post reported of today’s powwow.

“As I’ve said before, I’m with Joe,” he said. “He said the same thing last week in Syracuse and repeated the statement in response to multiple questions about Biden’s candidacy Tuesday at the Capitol,” the newspaper reported.

Continued the Post:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he’s sticking with President Biden but declined to discuss the specifics of the Senate Democrats’ meeting. “We have a very strong measure of unity and determination that we’re going to win this summer,” he said, insisting that there is “still unity around the president” and a consensus “that we need to defeat Donald Trump.”…

Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who’s been skeptical of President Biden’s capacity to win in November, exited the nearly two-hour meeting of Senate Democrats not satisfied with the direction. “We have a ways to go,” he told reporters.…

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), a staunch defender of President Biden, walked out of the Senate Democrats’ lunch and said the president is “our guy.”

“I don’t know why everyone in your business is so offended by that,” he said, not answering questions about what his colleagues said during the luncheon.

Axios reported from inside the meeting that Schumer remained neutral and “did not make an argument for or against the president.” The website cited Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and another source.

Coons also told the website that Senators Michael Bennet of Colorado and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist, are concerned about the Biden campaign and the party’s “economic message.”

“I would describe it as a constructive conversation, and we’re focused on defeating Trump,” Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said, Axios reported:

Baldwin, who has said her constituents are concerned about Biden, said Tuesday’s discussion did not change her perspective.

“It was certainly consensus on this critical point that we need to defeat Donald Trump,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who has thrown his support behind Biden.

Baldwin has said Biden must decide whether to stay in the race and has said “I support the Democratic ticket.”

House Meeting

Hard left House Democrats said much the same thing after their meeting.

Asked about Special Counsel Robert Hur’s assessment that Biden is so old and feeble that prosecuting him for illegally mishandling classified documents would be fruitless, California’s Ted Lieu offered this answer the Post reported:

“Robert Hur is not a doctor, and neither are you. But you know what? Look at Donald Trump’s transcripts, and then let’s have a conversation about the crazy things Donald Trump says.”

Still, the Associated Press reported, the mood in the closed-door meeting was “dour.”

“Biden’s supporters are emerging as the most vocal, and at least one key Democrat reversed course to publicly support the president. But no consensus was in sight as dissent runs strong,” AP explained.

Democrats worry that if Biden remains in the race, the election debate for voters will focus on his age and health instead of Trump.

Continued AP:

At least 20 Democratic lawmakers stood up to speak in what for many is an existential moment for their country considering a second Trump presidency.

Most of those who spoke wanted Biden to step aside, said another person familiar with the meeting and granted anonymity to discuss it.

Among them was Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who leads a contingent of military veterans in the House and is among the six Democrats who have publicly called for Biden to step aside.

Still others set aside their private concerns in order to back Biden, for now. “He said he’s going to remain in, he’s our candidate, and we’re going to support him,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, who over the weekend was among those privately saying Biden needed to step aside.

As The New American has reported, Democrats worry that a Trump victory would also mean losing control of the House and Senate.

Thus down-ballot races could be in trouble, particularly in swing districtsAP reported. Illinois’ Mike Quigley said Biden must “step down because he can’t win.”

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