Disappointed Democrats stick with Biden after poor debate performance


The reviews are already in Presidential debates Between President Biden and former President Donald Trump.

“It was not Biden's best night,” Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois told CBS News.

“I'm sorry to say the president's performance was poor,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania. “His debate was poor. There's no doubt about that.”

“Look, it was horrible Discussion“She told reporters she's still processing what happened,” Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota said.

But for all the melee and Friday morning quarterbacking about President Biden Husky DeliveryDespite the verbal speculation and half-baked ideas, many congressional Democrats appear unwilling to abandon him, despite calls from some within the party to consider another candidate.

“That was the first strike,” Rep. Jim Clyburn, a longtime Biden ally from South Carolina, told CBS News. “If this were a ball game, they would have had two more strikes.”

Clyburn’s message to nervous Democrats: “Stay on your path.”

Clyburn, whose 2020 approval then-candidate Biden passed him over Victory in the presidential primary election and nominationHe said he planned to speak to the president and was campaigning on his behalf in Florida and Wisconsin this weekend.

“We should focus on Biden's record,” said the veteran Democrat, who attributed Biden's performance to “stylistic” difficulties. “Focus on the substance. We have a working horse working on behalf of the American people. We have a show horse trying to vote him out of office.”

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi agreed when asked about the first-ever contest between President Biden and former President Trump.

“Compared to a guy who was lying all the time, we saw honesty on one side and dishonesty on the other. That's the way I looked at it,” Pelosi told CBS News.

Former President Barack Obama also offered a similar message on social media.

“Bad debate nights happen. Believe me, I know,” Obama wrote. “But this election is still an election between a man who has fought for ordinary people his whole life and a man who only cares about himself. Between a man who tells the truth; who knows right and wrong and tells the American people straight — and a man who lies for his own benefit. Last night didn't change that, and that's why there's so much at stake in November.”

Some Democrats were less forgiving.

Rep. Tom Suozzi, who recently won a New York swing district, said, “That’s beyond my pay level,” when asked if President Biden should step down.

A Biden campaign memo written by campaign chairwoman Jen O'Malley Dillon and obtained by CBS News on Saturday claimed that prior to Thursday's debate, the presidential race was “incredibly close,” and that “according to every metric” we've seen since the debate, the race “remains just as close.”

“On every significant scale, the data shows it did nothing to change the perception of the American people, our supporters are more energized than ever, and Donald Trump merely reminded voters why they fired him four years ago and failed to expand his appeal beyond his MAGA base,” Dillon wrote.

Multiple sources also confirmed to CBS News that the Democratic National Committee held a call with members Saturday afternoon, and that it included DNC Chair Jaime Harrison. One DNC member told CBS News that no questions were allowed at the conclusion of the call, and Harrison only made slight references to Biden's debate performance.

According to DNC spokesperson Hannah Muldavin, the call did not focus on Biden's debate performance but discussed a variety of topics including fundraising numbers and grassroots campaign efforts.

Muldavin also said the Biden campaign raised $27 million from the time the debate ended through Friday evening.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen declined to directly answer a question about whether Mr Biden was fit for another term in an interview with WBUR. Like other Democratic lawmakers, she said she had a “very bad night” but, unlike them, expressed some uncertainty about what lies ahead.

“I've had the pleasure of working with him over the last three and a half years,” she told WBUR. “He's done a lot for the country. It's made a huge difference, and I think there will be an assessment of what happens next. But I can't give you an answer today.”

He said, “I think there will be a lot of discussion about what happens next. I think we'll have to meet with President Biden again and see what happens.” He also said, “His condition was very bad last night. So the question is, will this disqualify him for the next 4 years? I think that's going to be decided.”

Other lawmakers sought to downplay concerns about the impact the president's top position could have on upcoming elections.

“I'm not going to be part of this drama of this city that immediately demands that we're in trouble when somebody has a bad night,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, acknowledging that the “purple state” will be competitive. “We'll see what happens. I'm going to go home and talk to people in my district.”

“Voters are not going to make a decision because of somebody’s sore throat,” said Representative Robert Garcia of California, who traveled to Atlanta as a campaign representative and insisted that Mr. Biden would “100%” be the nominee.

The White House confirmed that the president had a cold during the debate, calling it “nothing unusual.” The Biden campaign held an all-staff meeting on Friday. Communications Director Michael Tyler told reporters that the campaign had no plans to change its strategy and insisted there had been “no conversation” about Mr. Biden stepping down.

Addressing a crowd in North Carolina on Friday afternoon amid chants of “Joe” and “four more years”, Mr Biden said Admitted my mistakes.

“I know I'm not a young man, that's obvious,” the 81-year-old said at a campaign rally in Raleigh. “Friends, I don't walk as easily as I used to. I don't speak as smoothly as I used to. I don't argue as well as I used to. But I know what I know — I know how to speak the truth.”

, Aaron Navarro contributed to this report.


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