Won’t step aside, challenge me at August convention: Biden

Wednesday 10th July 2024 07:18 EDT

Washington: US Prez Joe Biden said that he would not abandon his re-election campaign as he sought to stave off a possible revolt from fellow Democrats who worry the party could lose the White House and Congress in the Nov 5 US election.
Biden, 81, said any candidates who doubt his ability should challenge him at the Democratic National Convention in August - an effort that stands no chance of success unless he lets the delegates he won in primaries this year consider other candidates. “The bottom line here is that I am not going anywhere,” Biden said in a call he placed to MSNBC’s Morning Joe programme.
Separately he told wavering Democratic lawmakers in a letter that they needed to close ranks behind his candidacy. Many of them urged him to drop out, and more could do so in coming days as lawmakers return to Washington after a break. Biden faces a critical week as he tries to shore up a campaign that has been on defence since a shaky June 27 debate against Republican Donald Trump, which raised questions about his ability to do the job for another 4-1/2 years.
Biden wrote in the two-page letter that “the question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end. We have 42 days to the Democratic Convention and 119 days to the general election,” Biden said in the letter, distributed by his reelection campaign.

Though Biden has secured enough delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination, some donors and lawmakers have called for him to step aside and let vice-president Kamala Harris or another candidate lead the ticket. On MSNBC, Biden sounded a defiant note against wealthy donors who have called for him to drop out. “I don’t care what the millionaires think.”

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers have voiced concern that his poor approval ratings, plus concerns about his age and ability, could hurt party’s prospects for retaining Senate, which they control by a 51-49 majority, and winning back the House, where Republicans have a 219-213 majority.

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