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Defiant Biden tells party he will not quit as support continues to wane

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden wrote a defiant letter on Monday to Democratic lawmakers, insisting that he is “firmly committed to staying in the (Presidential) race,” amid rising clamor in the party and beyond asking him to bow out.
A growing number of lawmakers, fat-cat donors, and party activists are urging him to quit the race, but Biden is now challenging them to formally remove him from the ticket if they have popular rank and file support.
“If any of these guys don’t think I should run, run against me… Go ahead, announce for president. Challenge me at the convention,” an angry Biden raged in a phone-in to MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a sympathetic platform, saying “I don’t care what those big names think,” and talk of turfing him out is “driving me nuts.”
In his letter to party lawmakers, Biden said he was not blind to concerns being expressed in various fora but insisted “I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024.”
He said Democratic voters had spoken during the primaries, and it was their decision to have him run — “not the press, not the pundits, not the big donors.”
The President’s defiant stand came hours after several lawmakers reportedly told the party’s Congressional leadership that Biden should step aside. Although only five lawmakers have publicly called for Biden to withdraw from the presidential race, those who are still backing him are said to be shrinking in numbers.
Polls — and public figures aligned with the Democratic Party — are also suggesting that Biden should withdraw, and do it quickly, so that the party can nominate a new challenger to Trump before the party convention in Chicago on August 19.
“Joe Biden has been a fine president, but it’s time for him—in the interests of the America he so clearly loves—to announce he will not run for re-election,” the writer Stephen King, a fierce Trump critic, tweeted on Monday.
Liberal media maven Michael Moore is among those pressing for Biden’s withdrawal, saying putting him up to such scrutiny is the “cruelest form of elder abuse.”
“He was in epic distress that Thursday night (at the debate). Every cognitive default in his mind seemed to be shutting down. If this had been somebody that you truly cared about, loved, embraced, what would you have done? Would you have seriously even let him go out on that stage? Who would send an 81 year old out onto any stage to debate a living monster at nine o’clock at night for a brawl that would not end until 10:42 p.m.?” Moore said in a podcast.
Biden still has his supporters although the numbers are fading. Many of them expressed outrage that while the President’s every move every hour is being subjected to such intense scrutiny, the media was giving a free pass to Trump, who has rarely been seen in public this past week.
Biden himself took as shot at Trump, saying he (Trump) hasn’t done anything in 10 days except for “riding around a golf cart in Mar-a-Lago with his wealthy friends.” Separately, his campaign sent out a memo listing 15 public and private events Biden has taken part in since the debate.
“I’m not running because of the rich guys. I’m running for the American people. I beat Donald Trump last time, I’ll beat him this time,” an exasperated President told MSNBC.

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