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US election campaign: Biden takes a confrontational course within the party

US election campaign: Biden takes a confrontational course within the party
US election campaign: Biden takes a confrontational course within the party

US President Biden is vehemently defending himself against pressure from within his own ranks. Shortly before his appearance on the international stage, he is calling critics within his party to order – in unusual tones.

In the debate about US President Joe Biden’s physical fitness for a second term, the Democrat is going on the offensive and adopting a confrontational tone towards his party colleagues. At the beginning of the week, the 81-year-old addressed a clear letter to the Democrats in Congress and, in an unusual move, also called in to a live broadcast on US breakfast television.

Biden’s message shortly before the start of the NATO summit in Washington was unmistakable: He made it clear that he would not withdraw from the presidential election campaign and called on his party colleagues to end the public debate about it.

He told the doubters within his party who had spoken out in favor of an alternative candidate on MSNBC’s morning program: “Go ahead! (…) Challenge me at the party convention!” He also expressed frustration with “know-it-all elites” in his own ranks.

In the letter to the members of Congress from his party, Biden pointed out in a sharp tone that the democratic process cannot simply be thrown out the window after the party’s internal primaries. The letter was made available to CNN and the New York Times, among others.

“I have heard people’s concerns”

Millions of voters have already cast their votes for him, Biden wrote, among other things. This must be acknowledged: “Are we just saying the process means nothing? That voters have no say? I refuse to do that.” He described his disastrous performance in the TV debate at the end of June against Republican challenger Donald Trump as a “terrible evening” of which he has not had many in his career. “I really regret that this happened.”

Biden stated in the letter that he had had extensive discussions with party leadership, elected officials and voters. “I have heard people’s concerns – their good faith fears and worries about what is at stake in this election. I am not blind to them,” he wrote. But he would not run again if he was not absolutely convinced that he was the best candidate to beat Trump. Biden warned that the debate about his suitability as a candidate must now stop – it only plays into Trump’s hands and harms his own party.

Rare appearance on breakfast television

In recent days, several members of the Democratic Party have publicly called for Biden to make room for a new candidate or have made public their assessment that he cannot win against Trump. Other members of Congress have not been quite as drastic, but have expressed concern. More dissenters are expected during the upcoming week of congressional sessions.

When asked about a number of well-known media and politicians who believe his withdrawal is the right thing to do, Biden told MSNBC that this did not concern him. As in the letter, he also highlighted his political differences with Trump in the phone call, warned against a Republican presidency, called Trump a notorious liar and recalled the storming of the Capitol.

It is unusual for the Democrat to join in on live television for his offensive. Former President Trump regularly made similar calls to the right-wing conservative broadcaster Fox News during his time in office. Biden was not previously known for such spontaneous appearances. The broadcaster MSNBC is considered to be well-disposed towards the Democrats.

Source: Stern

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