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Monday, July 15, 2024

Biden Faces Crucial Days After “Disastrous” Debate, NYT Reports

Biden Faces Crucial Days After "Disastrous" Debate, NYT Reports as the White House offers a range of excuses for what happened at the debate.

US President Joe Biden is seriously considering whether he can recover from his “disastrous” debate performance, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a “key ally” who wished to remain anonymous.

Biden struggled through last week’s exchange with challenger Donald Trump, hosted by CNN.  The Times described his performance as “devastating,” even though Biden’s campaign had arranged the circumstances to be maximally favorable.

“He knows if he has two more events like that, we’re in a different place” by the end of the Independence Day weekend, the unnamed ally told the newspaper.

While the unnamed source insisted that Biden is “still deeply in the fight for re-election,” the 81-year-old is reportedly aware that the next several days must go well if he wishes to “salvage” his candidacy.

Biden is scheduled to record an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos – a Clinton White House veteran – on Friday and take part in campaign events in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. A meeting with Democratic governors is also on the schedule for Wednesday evening.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates told the NYT that the anonymous ally’s claim was “absolutely false” and that he had not been given enough time to respond.

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According to the Times, Biden has told at least one person that he is open to the possibility that the plan to move on from the debate and shift the narrative to Trump “may not work.”

The White House and the campaign have offered a range of excuses for what happened at the debate. Meanwhile, a CBS News poll on Wednesday showed Trump two points ahead of Biden nationally and three points in battleground states.

“Concerns are mounting about his viability as a candidate and whether he could serve as president for another four years,” the Times noted. Several other unnamed allies of Biden told the outlet that he was “clear-eyed” about the “uphill battle to convince voters, donors and the political class” that his debate performance was just a bad day.

Media outlets that have been friendly to Biden for years, insisting just last month that he was “sharp as a tack” and that allegations of mental and physical infirmity were fake news, turned on the president practically overnight. Major party donors have reportedly done so as well, demanding a new candidate.

Vice President Kamala Harris remains unpopular, however, and the Democrats did not allow a competitive primary, leaving them in a bind to name a possible replacement.