Biden stems Democratic defections as he insists he won’t quit 2024 race

July 9, 2024
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WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s insistence that he is the Democratic nominee for president and won’t be forced out of the race appears to have stemmed public Democratic defections — at least for now.

While he’s certainly not in the clear and many Democrats are privately and publicly grumbling that he can’t beat Donald Trump this fall, Biden seems to have staunched the bleeding as he and his allies work to shore up support for his beleaguered presidential campaign.

“If the opposition is not unified,” one House Democrat said, “then it’s advantage Biden.”

At a closed-door gathering of House Democrats on Tuesday, only a handful of Democrats privately raised concerns about Biden’s age and ability to win in November, according to sources in the room. That small gang of defectors included Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., Mike Quigley, D-Ill., and Mark Takano, D-Calif., sources said, who had already either publicly or privately called for Biden to step aside.

In a small victory for Biden, longtime Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the powerful Judiciary Committee, left the meeting appearing resigned to the fact that Biden would be on the top of the ticket. On a private call with fellow committee leaders two days earlier, Nadler had called on Biden to step aside, sources said.

“Whether I have concerns or not is beside the point,” Nadler told reporters Tuesday. “He’s going to be our nominee, and we all have to support him.”

A day earlier, Biden told lawmakers in a public letter and private phone calls that he’s not quitting the race following his disastrous debate performance late last month. The large majority of lawmakers gathered at the Democratic National Committee headquarters Tuesday morning said that Biden is the party’s nominee and that it was now time for Democratic officials to rally behind him.

There is “overwhelming consensus that Biden has decided to stay in the race and we should unify behind him,” said a House Democrat and Biden ally as he left the meeting. “Those with concerns should voice them privately because fait accompli — Biden is the nominee.”

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., has publicly backed Biden staying on as the nominee, but three sources in the meeting said that Jeffries “respectfully listened” to all sides in the room and didn’t try to twist arms.

As he opened the meeting, however, Jeffries scolded members for leaking the details of Sunday’s private Zoom between Democratic committee leaders, two sources confirmed. Wagging his finger, Jeffries said he didn’t want leaks coming out of Tuesday’s meeting.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.





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