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Biden’s family reportedly tell him to stay in presidential race as blame shifts to advisers | Joe Biden



Biden’s family reportedly tell him to stay in presidential race as blame shifts to advisers | Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s family have urged him stay in the race after a disastrous debate performance last week, according to reports in the US media, as senior democrats and donors have expressed exasperation at how his staff prepared him for the event.

The president gathered with his family at Camp David on Sunday, where discussions were reported to include questions over his political future. It came after days of mounting pressure on Biden, after a debate in which his halting performance highlighted his vulnerabilities and invited calls from pundits, media and voters for him to step aside.

During the meeting at Camp David – which included the president’s wife, children and grandchildren – Biden’s family told him he could still show Americans that he is capable of serving another four years, according to the New York Times.

While his family was reportedly aware of how poorly he performed, they also continue to think he’s the best person to beat Donald Trump.

The Associated Press reported that the strongest voices imploring Biden to resist pressure to drop out were his wife, Jill, and his son Hunter, who last month became the first child of a sitting president to be convicted of a felony after a jury found him guilty of lying about illegal drug use when he bought a handgun in 2018.

The Camp David trip had been previously scheduled, in order to accommodate a photoshoot with Annie Leibovitz for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

The president’s relatives were also said to be critical of the way his closest advisers had prepared him for the debate.

During the debate, a hoarse-sounding Biden delivered a shaky, halting performance in which he stumbled over his words on several occasions and at times was unable to finish sentences. His opponent, Donald Trump, made a series of falsehoods, including claims that he actually won the 2020 election, which Biden failed to refute.

On Sunday, a narrative blaming the rigorous debate prep calendar which saw Biden sequestered at Camp David for six days, began to build.

Joe Biden arrives at Hagerstown airport with his family. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

“It is my belief that he was over-coached, over-practiced,” said John Morgan, a Florida-based attorney and major Biden fundraiser.

Critics of Biden’s performance also said that the preparation should have focused on the bigger vision he needs to sell to the country.

“My only request was make sure he’s rested before the debate, but he was exhausted. He was unwell,” one person who said they appealed to Biden’s top aides in the days before, told the Reuters news agency. “What a bad decision to send him out looking sick and exhausted.”

The drumbeat of calls for Biden to step have grown louder since a post-debate CBS poll showed a 10-point jump in the number of Democrats who believe Biden should not be running for president, to 46% from 36% in February.

Biden’s approval rating has been weakening since he took office and concerns about his age and handling of crises both at home and abroad after Thursday are under more scrutiny than ever.

On Sunday, prominent Democrats blanketed the talkshows, conceding that the president’s performance had been subpar, but continued to throw their support behind him.

House of Representatives Democratic leader, Hakeem Jeffries, acknowledged that Biden had suffered a setback, but said this was “nothing more than a setup for a comeback.”

Senator Raphael Warnock, a Georgia democrat and Baptist minister, said there had been “more than a few Sundays when I wish I had preached a better sermon,” relating the experience to Biden’s debate performance.

“But after the sermon was over it was my job to embody the message, to show up for the people that I serve. And that’s what Joe Biden has been doing his entire life,” Warnock said.

Not all Democrats appeared to be in agreement however. Asked on Sunday whether the party was discussing a new 2024 candidate, Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin told MSNBC: “There are very honest and serious and rigorous conversations taking place at every level of our party, because it is a political party and we have differences in point of view.”

“Whether he’s the candidate or someone else is the candidate, he’s going to be the keynote speaker at our convention. He will be the figure that we rally around to move forward,” Raskin said.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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