Top Biden advisers meet with senators as Democratic anxieties about 2024 grow

July 11, 2024
3,769 Views


WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are meeting privately Thursday at a special caucus lunch with President Joe Biden’s senior advisers Mike Donilon and Steve Ricchetti, as well as Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, according to a Democratic leadership source and senators.

The meeting comes as anxieties grow among Democrats about Biden’s diminished standing in the presidential race against Donald Trump in the wake of his halting debate performance on June 27.

As polling averages show that his position has slipped, albeit modestly, many Democrats don’t believe Biden can win — and they worry he may drag down the party’s ticket with him, potentially handing Republicans control of Congress as well. They want answers from Biden’s team about their plan to turn things around.

“I want to understand their plan for winning,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

A senior Biden adviser said the message to Democrats will be about the path to victory and how the campaign sees it, using data to help make the case that there’s been minimal movement in the broader race — and to make clear that Team Biden has a plan.

They will also try to make the case that Democrats should get unified — and quickly — prior to the Republican convention to refocus on Trump and what they see as GOP extremism, the adviser said.

Shortly before the meeting, the campaign shared a “path ahead” memo that acknowledged “increased anxiety following the debate,” which it called a “setback” for the campaign. But the memo argues Biden still has a path to victory, noting: “Our internal data and public polling show the same thing: this remains a margin-of-error race in key battleground states.”

One day before the meeting, Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt., became the first Democrat in the chamber to openly call on Biden to exit the race, writing in a Washington Post op-ed that his standing has eroded and that the party has “a deep bench that can defeat Trump.”

“This is a show-me, not tell-me situation for the president,” Welch told NBC News about the Thursday meeting. “So, speaking to us is helpful to get insights into how they plan to deal with it, but it’s less about a discussion with folks who are longtime appreciators of President Biden. The challenge for him is to get to the public and reassure them about their misgivings post-debate.”

Earlier in the week, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said he no longer believes Biden can win.

Democrats control the Senate 51-49 and are all but guaranteed to lose a seat in West Virginia. In order to hold the other 50 seats they need to keep the Senate majority, they must also defend seats in the red states like Montana and Ohio, as well as purple states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada. Their only pickup opportunities to flip GOP-held seats come in the red-leaning states of Florida and Texas.

Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, two of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this fall, said they could not attend Thursday’s meeting.

“I have a full-time job to do here and I am not interested in campaign meetings,” Brown said.

Tester said he wished he could attend but had a conflict. He indicated that he’d be interested in talking to Biden directly.

“I always would like to see the president,” Tester said.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., another top Republican target this election cycle, is attending the sitdown with Biden advisers. He told reporters Wednesday that he doesn’t agree with some colleagues that President Biden can’t win in November. “It’s just my view,” Casey said.

Biden’s Democratic skeptics outside the Senate don’t believe a meeting with his advisers can quell the skepticism.

“It’s very easy to allay our concerns. Show up and show you’re fit for this. I don’t particularly think that sending staff members should, will or can get at what everyone has been worried about,” said Aaron Regunberg, a former Democratic state legislator from Rhode Island who is now with the volunteer group Pass the Torch, which is asking Biden to exit. “We’re losing by a lot right now.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said three times on Tuesday when asked about Biden’s troubles, “I’m with Joe.”

And Schumer battled down suggestions that he has privately said differently to others: “As I have made clear repeatedly publicly and privately, I support President Biden and remain committed to ensuring Donald Trump is defeated in November,” he said.





Source link

You may be interested

Best Prime Video streaming channel deals to shop on Amazon Prime Day today
Top Stories
shares3,634 views
Top Stories
shares3,634 views

Best Prime Video streaming channel deals to shop on Amazon Prime Day today

new admin - Jul 16, 2024

Getty Images While Amazon Prime members shop major Amazon Prime Day 2024 discounts on household essentials, power tools, luggage and…

Xreal Beam Pro review: an AR tablet with good ideas but not enough power
Technology
shares3,779 views
Technology
shares3,779 views

Xreal Beam Pro review: an AR tablet with good ideas but not enough power

new admin - Jul 16, 2024

There are two possible paths for augmented reality devices. One path is the all-in-one approach, which you might call the…

North Korean diplomat in Cuba defected to South Korea, Seoul says
World
shares3,202 views
World
shares3,202 views

North Korean diplomat in Cuba defected to South Korea, Seoul says

new admin - Jul 16, 2024

South Korea’s spy agency said Tuesday that a senior North Korea diplomat based in Cuba has fled to South Korea,…