U.S Election

Democrats Discuss Replacing Biden on Presidential Ticket

Author: Aaron Zitner, Catherine Lucey, Annie Linskey, and Andrew Restuccia Source: WSJ:
June 28, 2024 at 07:11

Halting debate performance spurs turmoil in the party over 2024 candidate

ATLANTA—President Biden’s halting performance against Donald Trump on Thursday left the Democratic Party in turmoil, with officials trying to sort through the president’s prospects after an appearance in which he stumbled over words, stammered through many answers and elevated widespread voter concerns that he is too old to serve.

For months, many Democrats have argued that the 81-year-old president is fit for a second term. But following the debate, some Democratic strategists, donors and advisers to donors said they were shocked by Biden’s showing, which they said had spurred private discussions about replacing him on the presidential ticket. They acknowledged, however, that the chances of the president withdrawing remained slim.

One Biden ally said he had to turn off the TV several times. Another said Biden’s performance made even Trump, 78, who repeated falsehoods throughout the 90-minute event, look like a statesman. Some also expressed concerns about the effect the debate would have on Biden’s fundraising at a time when Trump is poised to wipe out the president’s financial advantage

“I’m very worried,” said one Democratic lawmaker, adding that constituents don’t like Trump but were shaken by Biden’s performance. “I’m on my knees praying it’s not too late to replace him. This was so avoidable,” the lawmaker said.

Another Democratic elected official said that many Democratic members of Congress were panicked after the debate, saying that some, including those loyal to the White House, want a new nominee. 

Joe Biden had one thing he had to do tonight and he didn’t do it,” former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) said on MSNBC. “He had one thing he had to accomplish, and that was reassure America that he was up to the job at his age. And he failed at that.”

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