Biden defies calls to exit campaign, commits to 2024 race

President Biden vowed on Wednesday to remain in the 2024 presidential race, addressing campaign staff and Democratic lawmakers to dispel growing calls for his withdrawal following a lackluster debate performance last week.

In a call with concerned campaign team members, Biden assured them of his determination to continue.

“No one is pushing me out. I’m not leaving. I’m in this race to the end,” he declared, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. In an email blast, he urged supporters to “pitch in a few bucks” to help defeat his Republican rival, Donald Trump, in the November 5 election.

Biden also met virtually and in person with 24 Democratic governors and the mayor of Washington, D.C., to reaffirm his capability to lead the party after the debate performance. Only three governors—New York’s Kathy Hochul, Minnesota’s Tim Walz, and Maryland’s Wes Moore—spoke to reporters afterward, expressing their continued support.

“The president has always had our backs. We’re going to have his back as well,” said Governor Moore. Governor Walz acknowledged Biden’s faltering debate performance but asserted his confidence in Biden’s fitness for office.

Concerns about Biden’s age and mental acuity intensified after the debate, where he appeared to mumble, lose his train of thought, and made a reference to “beating Medicare.” Biden attributed his performance to fatigue from recent foreign trips and a cold, according to the White House.

When asked if Biden was considering stepping down, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded, “Absolutely not.” Despite her assurances, recent polls showed a decline in Biden’s standing against Trump. A Wall Street Journal survey indicated Trump leading Biden 48% to 42%, while a New York Times/Siena poll showed Trump’s lead widening to 49% to 43%.

During a call among House Democrats, Representatives Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts voiced concerns about Biden’s age and viability. Moulton stated, “The unfortunate reality is that the status quo will likely deliver us President Trump.”

Despite fundraising successes and damage control efforts, prominent Democratic donor Reed Hastings called for Biden to step aside. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris has gained traction as a potential replacement, with support from influential figures like Dmitri Mehlhorn, an adviser to LinkedIn co-founder and Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman.

“We would lose Joe’s superpower brand, but we would gain other benefits and would still be competitive,” Mehlhorn said, endorsing Harris as the only serious national contender already tested by attacks from Trump’s base.