2024 Election /

Biden Vows to Stay in 2024 Race Amid Calls to Step Aside

In a letter to congress, Biden asserts he is the best candidate to defeat Trump

Biden Vows to Stay in 2024 Race Amid Calls to Step Aside

President Joe Biden has sent a letter to congress declaring that he will not succumb to critics demanding he end his candidacy in the 2024 election.

A steady chorus of boos has dogged Biden since his underperformance in a June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump, after which there has been near universal agreement that Biden is suffering from some degree of cognitive decline.

Amidst this environment of heightened concern over his mental acuity, a growing number of voices — most of which are emanating from within his own party — have urged him to step aside to make room for a candidate more likely to defeat Trump in November.

On July 7, multiple House Democratic ranking members told House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries they believe Biden needs to step aside from the campaign.

Also over the weekend, a memo was circulated among top Democrats outlining a strategy that would allow Biden to end his re-election bid while doing minimal damage to the party. The plan calls for a “blitz primary” after Biden steps down, where a new slate of candidates can vie for the nomination. The blitz primary would involve weekly forums moderated by cultural icons such as Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, and the new nominee would be chosen by delegates using ranked choice voting before next month’s Democratic convention.

But in his July 8 letter to congress, Biden affirmed that despite speculation about whether he may end his candidacy, he remains “firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump.”

In recent days, Biden has met with Democratic governors, party leaders, and other high-profile officials to discuss concerns over what may befall the party if he is the candidate on Election Day, a fact he references in his letter.

After Biden’s universally panned debate performance, his favorability collapsed so low his popularity now lags behind Vice President Kamala Harris, who, despite having been consistently viewed negatively among voters, is now polling higher than Biden in three key battleground states.

Democrats are also worried that Biden remaining in the race won’t just jeopardize his own election but could cost down-ballot candidates in other races across the entire country.

“There are concerns with the impact on down-ballot races if the President doesn’t do well,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said during a July 7 interview. “At present, our down-ballot candidates in the Senate and House are doing well. They are running well ahead of the president, but you can only run so far ahead of the president.”

Biden, however, told congressional officials in his letter that he would not be running again if he did not “absolutely believe” he was the best person to defeat Trump, using the bulletin to try and boost morale among his party.

“We are the ones lowering costs for families — from health care to prescription drugs to student debt to housing,” Biden proclaimed. “We are the ones protecting Social Security and Medicare. Everything they’re proposing raises costs for most Americans — except their tax cuts which will go to the rich.”

He added that though the question about how to move forward post-debate has been asked for more than a week now, “it’s time for it to end.”

“Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us,” Biden said. “It is time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump.”

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