US election campaign: After TV debacle: Pressure on Biden grows within his own party

US election campaign: After TV debacle: Pressure on Biden grows within his own party
US election campaign: After TV debacle: Pressure on Biden grows within his own party

A Democratic congressman from Texas is pushing ahead and calling on Joe Biden to withdraw from the election campaign. Is support for the US president also crumbling within his own ranks?

After Joe Biden’s disastrous performance in the televised debate against his rival Donald Trump, pressure on the US president is also growing within his own ranks. A first Democratic member of the US House of Representatives publicly called on Biden to drop out of the race for the presidency and make room for another candidate. More critics could follow. Top Democratic politician Nancy Pelosi also spoke out.

Biden himself claims to have identified the reason for his botched performance in the TV debate against challenger Donald Trump: tiredness. The 81-year-old explained his weak performance with exhaustion after a series of strenuous trips abroad. At a campaign appearance in the US state of Virginia, he said, according to journalists traveling with him, that he had actually traveled around the world several times shortly before the TV debate, which was “not very smart.” He had not listened to his staff – “and then I almost fell asleep on stage.” That is not an excuse, but an explanation.

Biden’s schedule actually included two major trips abroad last month. First, at the beginning of June, he attended a memorial event for the Allied landings in Normandy in France. Immediately afterwards, Biden made a state visit to Paris, where the French president received him with a major program. Then he flew back to the USA – only to travel to Italy again for the G7 summit just a few days later, in mid-June. From there, he traveled across nine time zones back to the US West Coast, where he attended an exclusive fundraising gala for his election campaign in Los Angeles.

On June 17, Biden received NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington. From June 20, he was finally at Camp David – the US President’s country estate near the capital. There, Biden and his team prepared for the debate and did not have any public appointments for about a week.

White House goes on the offensive

The White House also tried to dispel doubts about Biden’s suitability for the office and to make people forget his botched appearance on television as best as possible. The president had just had a bad evening, stressed White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre at a press conference. “We will start a new chapter,” she said. Biden will convince the people of the USA of his qualities at on-site meetings.

In the coming days, Biden also wants to meet with Democratic members of Congress and governors, Jean-Pierre announced. A television interview, campaign appearances and a press conference at the NATO summit in Washington next week are also planned. Biden himself appeared to be in a good mood and confident at an appointment in Washington. As usual, he read his speech from a teleprompter.

MP “respectfully” calls on Biden to withdraw

In recent days, the party’s best-known faces have refrained from harsh public criticism. Lloyd Doggett, a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives from Texas, has now become the first parliamentarian from Biden’s party to speak out publicly and demand his withdrawal.

It is not easy for him to make his reservations public, Doggett wrote in a statement quoted by US media. Unlike Trump, Biden has always served the interests of the country and not his own. He hopes the president will make the difficult and painful decision to resign, Doggett said. “I respectfully urge him to do so.”

According to the portal “Axios”, major donors to the Democrats want to change their strategy ahead of the vote in November, which will also decide on the redistribution of many seats in the House of Representatives and Senate, in view of dwindling hopes of a Biden election victory. They now want to focus their support on Democratic candidates for Congress in order to secure majorities there so that Trump cannot rule unhindered in the event of an election victory.

Pelosi: Question about blunder “justified”

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi defended Biden and credited him with “judgment and strategic thinking” in an interview with US broadcaster MSNBC.

When asked, the Democrat also said that it was a “legitimate question” whether Biden’s blunder in the TV debate was “just an episode or a state of affairs.” However, both candidates must be subjected to equally critical scrutiny when it comes to their suitability for the presidency. Pelosi stressed that it is difficult to debate with Trump because the Republican ex-president constantly lies.

Troublemaker Manchin apparently threatened public rupture

According to a report in the Washington Post, Senator Joe Manchin threatened to publicly break with Biden immediately after the TV debate. Manchin, who is known as a troublemaker, recently turned his back on the Democrats, but as an independent senator he continues to vote with his former party on many issues.

According to the report, Manchin changed his confrontational course at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, among others. The newspaper quoted an unnamed Democratic Party official as saying: “Nobody wants to be the first to stab Julius Caesar.”

Meetings with governors on the agenda

The US broadcaster CBS reported that Biden would meet with Democratic governors of various states as early as Wednesday to secure their support. CNN had previously reported, citing people familiar with the situation, that several governors had spoken to each other on the phone at the beginning of the week to arrange such a meeting.

According to a report in the Washington Post, there will be another crisis meeting today: White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients wants to hold a conference call with all of the President’s staff, it was said. The conference will emphasize how important it is to continue working despite the headwinds. The past few days are also likely to have left their mark on Biden’s team at government headquarters, which normally does not interfere in election campaign matters.

Source: Stern

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