Latest News 09-07-2024 13:06 8 Views

Biden ‘working the phones’ in battle to save re-election bid, with Democrats starting to return to his camp

President Biden has been 'incredibly busy working the phones' and will continue to make calls through this week, a source familiar told Fox News Digital, and his strategy to save his re-election bid appears to be working. 

Biden has been facing mounting calls from members within his own party to step aside and suspend his re-election campaign following his disastrous debate performance last month. However, Biden is going all in to tamp down dissent among lawmakers, activists and pundits pushing for Democrats to dump him as the nominee, and rescue his suddenly tenuous candidacy, sources told Fox News Digital. 

'President Biden has been incredibly busy working the phones,' a source familiar with the president’s efforts told Fox News Digital, adding that Biden will be making more calls on Tuesday. 

By Monday evening, the tides appeared to be turning – at least, on Capitol Hill. More than half a dozen Democratic sources told Fox News Digital that the 'breathless calls' to swap out Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee should be ignored.

Amid numerous reports of House and Senate Democrats planning to abandon Biden over the weekend, the president began the day Monday by sending a letter to congressional Democrats saying he is 'firmly committed to staying in this race' and argued that any further questioning of his candidacy 'only helps Trump and hurts us.' 

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., reportedly had been considering holding a meeting Monday to gather support from colleagues to call on Biden to step aside.

That meeting did not take place, sources told Fox News Digital. 

Instead, from the Senate, Americans saw Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., come out in support of the president, along with Sens. John Fetterman Catherine Cortez-Masto, and Raphael Warnock

Other senators, like Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., would not directly commit to supporting the president, saying he first needed to meet with his Democratic Senate colleagues on Tuesday.

'I’m holding off on any further commentary until we have a chance to meet,' he told Fox News.

On the other side of the Capitol, however, House Democrats, including Reps. Bennie Thompson, Ayanna Pressley, Rosa De Lauro, Dan Goldman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Steven Horsford and Jim Clyburn, rallied behind the president.

'The matter is closed—Joe Biden is our nominee,' Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News. 'He is not leaving this race. He is in this race and I support him.'

By Monday evening, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., who hosted a call with his Democratic colleagues — specifically ranking members on House committees Sunday night — said he still stands by the president. 

'I made clear publicly the day after the debate that I support President Joe Biden and the Democratic ticket,' Jeffries said late Monday. 'My position has not changed.'

When pressed on whether Biden is the best person to be the Democratic nominee in 2024, Jeffries stood his ground.

'Same answer,' he said.

A source familiar with the Democratic leadership told Fox News Digital that Jeffries' position will not change.

'You won’t see Jeffries or [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer come out against Biden,' the source said.

The source told Fox News Digital that members of the National Finance Committee remain behind Biden, as do members of the Congressional Black Caucus and 'most ranking members on the hill.'

Biden participated in a virtual meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday night. The president delivered remarks and answered questions from members of the caucus.  

'During the conversation, President Biden thanked those on the call, talked about the stakes of this election, and the critical role CBC leaders will play in reelecting him and beating Donald Trump,' the Biden campaign told Fox News Digital. 

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., put out a statement shortly after the conclusion of the call, saying it 'reaffirmed' her support for Biden and Harris. 

'Undermining Biden only weakens our resolve to defeat Donald Trump in November,' she said. 

Also on Monday night, Biden got the support of Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Nanette Barragan and Deputy Chair Adriano Espaillat. 

'The chaotic calls you’re seeing for Biden to drop out are just noise from the media and professional Democrats. Sure, political operatives are having a public meltdown over one bad debate night, but let’s keep things in perspective,' a Democrat strategist and former Biden administration official told Fox News Digital. 'Joe Biden has already proven he can do this job and, importantly, he is the only one who has beaten Donald Trump before.'

The former official pointed to polling post-debate, noting that those numbers 'haven’t tanked' because 'his age is already factored into how voters are approaching this.'

'Millions of Americans supported him in the primary, and the idea of starting over with a new candidate this late in the game is pure fantasy,' the Democratic strategist and former official continued. 'We have a known entity in Biden, who is running on popular policies, and trying to reinvent the wheel now is not just impractical—it is magical thinking.'

The official added, 'While the political class is salivating over a scandal to chase clicks, voters aren’t going to abandon Biden in favor of Trump because of one bad debate.'

However, Democratic sources told Fox News Digital that 'the reality' is that Election Day is just four months away, and the Democratic Party 'can't just parachute a replacement in that can beat Trump this late in the game.'

'The reality is, it is too late in the game to replace the guy if we want to win — that’s it,' the source told Fox News Digital.

Additionally, despite reports of top donors considering pulling their support, the source told Fox News Digital that those donors 'have a multi-decade personal relationship' with Biden.

'There is loyalty there, and he has delivered on many pieces of the Democrat agenda,' the source told Fox News Digital. 'Kamala has not proven that she is a viable replacement — even though Biden has given her years of world leader meetings and more.'

Meanwhile, some reports following the debate suggested chaos among staffers within the White House and the Biden administration, but sources within the administration sought to quell those concerns.

'The President has been counted out time and time again over his career, and especially over the past five years since he announced his presidential campaign,' a longtime Biden staffer told Fox News Digital. 'From winning the nomination in 2020, to being one of the few to defeat an incumbent president, to rescuing the economy, to getting his legislative agenda through, to leading the party to defeat the red wave—he has continued to prove the doubters wrong.'

The longtime staffer added, 'With that kind of a win-loss record, why would I panic?'

Another administration official told Fox News Digital that it is 'ironic that the same beltway voices who’ve rushed to count us out every week of this presidency are pretending we’re unused to being counted out.' 

'That’s when we’re at our best,' the official said. 

Meanwhile, another Biden administration source told Fox News Digital that even amid the chaos, Biden 'is still going to win' and that staffers are 'keeping the faith.' 

'The choice is between someone who had a bad debate and someone who presidential historians said was the worst president in U.S. history,' the source said. 'Democrats know that Trump is unhinged and unfit to be president.'

Even his opponent — former President Trump — has said he believes that Biden will be at the top of the Democrats’ ticket.  

Trump spoke exclusively with Fox News Digital after the debate on June 27, saying it was 'a great honor to be on stage representing the people of our country.'

When asked if Biden would still be the Democratic nominee, Trump told Fox News Digital: 'Yes, I think he will be the nominee.'

When pressed further on early concerns from Democrats over Biden’s performance, Trump maintained that Biden would not be replaced.

'No, I don’t think so,' Trump said.

Then, touting his own debate performance, he told Fox News Digital that he 'beat' Biden, and suggested he would have beaten any Democrat on stage with him.

'They wouldn’t have done any better,' Trump said. 'No one else would have been better.'

Since the debate, Trump and his campaign have been relatively silent on the chaos within the Democratic Party. 

However, a Trump campaign source told Fox News Digital that the former president prefers to focus on campaigning and the upcoming Republican National Convention instead of on his rival’s implosion.

'Democrats are in disarray,' the Trump campaign source told Fox News Digital. 'Why get in the way of them shooting at each other?' 

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