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Sen. Blumenthal Says He’s ‘Deeply Concerned’ Trump Could Beat Biden

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Sen. Blumenthal Says He’s ‘Deeply Concerned’ Trump Could Beat Biden


Topline

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is “deeply concerned” about President Joe Biden’s ability to beat former President Donald Trump, he said Wednesday—joining a growing number of influential Democrats expressing doubts about Biden’s future, but stopping short of calling on him to step down in the race.

Key Facts

Blumenthal told reporters “it is an existential threat to the country if Donald Trump wins,” urging the party to “reach a conclusion as soon as possible” about who their nominee will be, adding “Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee has my support.”

Blumenthal’s statement comes as more Democrats on Wednesday began to air concerns about Biden’s candidacy after lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill this week following their holiday recess and a flurry of meetings among Democrats that produced no consensus on how to deal with the fallout from the president’s debate debacle.

Blumenthal is the second Democratic senator to publicly cast doubt about Biden’s ability to beat Trump—Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., became the first on Tuesday, telling CNN Trump “is on track . . . to win this election, and maybe win it by a landslide,” and accusing the White House, “since that disastrous debate” of having “done nothing to really demonstrate they have a plan to win this election.”

One additional House Democrat, Rep. Pat Ryan, D-N.Y., joined nine of his colleagues in calling for Biden to step aside Wednesday, urging Biden in a tweet “to deliver on his promise to be a bridge to a new generation of leaders.”

Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., also softened his support for Biden on Wednesday, tweeting “there must be a serious reckoning with the down-ballot effect of whomever we nominate,” a stark change in tone from Monday, when he chided “intra-party mixed messaging” about Biden’s future as “deeply self-destructive.”

Despite Biden’s insistence that he is staying in the race, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested Wednesday the decision is still in flux, telling MSNBC “it’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” adding “we’re all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short.”

What To Watch For

Pelosi urged Democrats to “hold off” on airing their opinions about Biden’s candidacy until after this week’s NATO summit in Washington. Biden will mark the end of the summit on Thursday by holding his first press conference with reporters since the debate.

Tangent

Blumenthal and Pelosi are among a number of Democrats who have carefully worded their statements to suggest that the decision about whether Biden should stay in the race is his alone to make, and they will support him as the nominee as long as he continues his candidacy. “Whatever he decides, we go with,” Pelosi said Wednesday.

Key Background

Biden appeared—for a brief 48 hours—to be averting mutiny as multiple influential Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., issued statements of support for Biden, while another senior member, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., walked back a call he reportedly made in private for Biden to step aside. Biden has said repeatedly he won’t resign from the race, writing in a letter to Democrats Monday that it’s “time for [discussions about his debate debacle]

Further Reading

Pelosi Says ‘Time Is Running Short’ For Biden To Decide If He’s Running—After President Insists He’s Staying In The Race (Forbes)

Rep. Pat Ryan Becomes 10th Congress Member Calling For Biden Replacement: Here’s The Full List (Forbes)

Senior House Democrat Rep. Nadler Reverses Course—Now Says He Supports Biden (Forbes)



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