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These are the Democrats standing by Joe Biden in the 2024 election


These are the Democrats standing by Joe Biden in the 2024 election

Ever since President Biden’s June 27 debate flop, a cascade of Democratic lawmakers’ concerns and panic have dominated the conversation, as hand-wringing over the election became something of a full-time activity for liberals.

But there is another, often far louder, group of Democrats who have doubled down on Biden in recent days, and are urging their fellow liberals to stay the course in sometimes exasperated tones as they barrel toward a faceoff with former president Donald Trump in November.

“To me it’s a no-brainer,” said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif), of his decision to continue to back the president against Trump. “I continue to be all in.”

Biden’s most vocal defenders differ from the large contingent of lawmakers who have lavished praise upon him in the wake of questions about his mental acuity and fitness. Those elected officials have also left themselves some room to abandon ship if Democratic sentiment turns on the president, by way of carefully worded statements. They note they have “concerns,” or need the president to show his debate performance was a one-off by having more “unscripted” interactions with voters in the coming days, for example.

These unqualified Biden fans, on the other hand, affirmatively contend that the 81-year-old president has the best chance to win and that Democrats are simply hurting themselves by engaging in a messy intraparty brawl just four months before an election.

“We’re losing the plot,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) told a swarm of reporters at the Capitol on Monday. “We are not talking about what we need to be talking about.”

The Biden fans span the gamut from lefties such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to Democrats who’ve won in swing districts and states such as Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) and Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.). Members of the influential Congressional Black Caucus make up a sizable chunk of the defenders. Some have been loud and feisty in their counterarguments, mixing it up with other politicians and people onX and seem, in some cases, to be relishing the fight.

Fetterman, who survived his own disastrous debate performance ahead of the 2022 election, is trolling everyone, per usual, on X, and is painting the Democrats calling for a change as disloyal “vultures” who have never beaten Trump in an election

“Any Dem is free to put your bad self into that arena for the Iron Throne,” he wrote. “But if you’re not proud to stan Biden, it’s just cheap shots from the cheap seats.”

He called Biden’s demeanor “perfect” in a Fox News appearance after appearing with him over the weekend in Philadelphia.

And Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), 85, drew a standing ovation at Essence Fest over the weekend when she said “it’s going to Biden” and “ain’t going to be no other Democratic candidate.”

“People are talking about ‘Biden is too old’ — hell, I’m older than Biden,” Waters declared. “And I get up every morning. And I exercise. And I work late hours. I take care of Black people. Trump has told you who he is, he defined himself. He is a no good, deplorable, lying, despicable human being.”

The Biden defenders mix the pragmatic with the idealistic. Some argue the logistics and political risk of switching horses at this point would be harrowing. Others contend that Biden is owed loyalty from his party, and point to his first-term legislative accomplishments.

“If we say that President Biden is no longer our guy, I’m very confused as to what team gets put together,” said Stevens , who has defended Biden in group chats with nervous lawmakers in recent days. She expressed concern about reassembling a coalition for a new nominee in her state of Michigan. “I have a lot of faith in him,” she said of Biden.

Other lawmakers said they feared their colleagues were jumping ship prematurely, after enthusiastically backing the man just a few months ago.

“Now most if not all of my colleagues who have come out against him running, they came out after a 90-minute debate,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio). “Those same colleagues were sitting on the floor with me when in the [March] joint session we were standing up and applauding at his delivery.”

A member of the CBC, Beatty said Biden said she’d be “first in line” to support Vice President Harris as a presidential candidate, but only if that decision came from Biden and Harris — not Congress.

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) predicted “a hardening of the vast majority of members” in favor of Biden, including the CBC and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “I‘ve never had any doubts about the president,” he said.

Biden’s campaign has eagerly shared any positive comments from lawmakers like Garcia in recent days on social media as the president attempts to tamp down any possibility of a Hill-based rebellion against his candidacy. House lawmakers returned to Washington on Monday and will meet Tuesday morning as a group for the first time since the debate, with senators gathering Tuesday afternoon.

Biden spent more than three decades on Capitol Hill as a senator and has built up goodwill among many Democrats, especially in the Senate, and the calls for him to step aside have clearly irritated him.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end,” Biden wrote in a letter to the Hill on Monday. “Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us.”

But questions about his candidacy did not appear to be going away on Monday. Several senators, including Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said they still needed more reassurance that Biden can defeat Trump. Others like Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) called for a “family conversation” about a way forward.

Biden defenders are skeptical these conversations can lead to any other resolution than sticking with Biden. “There’s no single criteria of how Biden can prove himself that’s going to appease everybody,” Padilla said. He added that he hopes senators “move forward” after a Tuesday lunch discussion on the matter.

Sanders, who ran against Biden for the nomination in 2020, has also championed Biden’s candidacy. He said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” he would not participate in a proposed discussion among senators about Biden’s future, even as he pushes the president on some policy matters.

“This is not a Grammy Award contest for best singer,” Sanders said. “Biden is old. He’s not as articulate as he once was. I wish he could jump up the steps on Air Force One, but he can’t. … What we have got to focus on is policy, whose policies have and will benefit the vast majority of the people in this country.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), another prominent liberal, called the matter “closed,” saying Biden is the nominee.

And Omar who has been sharply critical of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Gaza war, issued one of the strongest statements of support on Monday.

“He’s been the best president of my lifetime and we have his back,” she told reporters.

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