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Biden’s Interview Fails to Quell Democrat Fitness Concerns

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President Joe Biden’s recent TV interview has not alleviated the growing unease within his own party regarding his re-election campaign. Despite his efforts to downplay a faltering debate performance against Donald Trump, calls for him to step aside are mounting.

On Saturday, Representative Angie Craig of Minnesota became the fifth House Democrat to urge Biden to end his re-election bid, with more potentially following suit. During his rare prime-time interview with ABC News, Biden dismissed the debate as a “bad episode” and asserted that only the “Lord Almighty” could convince him to drop out of the race.

Currently, Biden, 81, is spending the weekend at his family home in Delaware, with two public events scheduled for Sunday. Although no senior Democrats have called for him to quit, the unease within the party is palpable. Some polls show Trump widening his lead over Biden, raising concerns about the Democrats’ chances of retaining the presidency and their majorities in the House and Senate if Biden remains the nominee.

Craig, who is running in a competitive district in Minnesota, expressed her doubts about Biden’s ability to “effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump.” She emphasized the high stakes, stating, “there is simply too much at stake to risk a second Donald Trump presidency.”

Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett, the first House Democrat to call for Biden to step aside, reiterated his stance on CNN shortly after Biden’s ABC interview. He emphasized that the longer Biden takes to decide, the more challenging it will be for a new candidate to emerge who can defeat Trump.

Other House Democrats, including Mike Quigley of Illinois and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, echoed these sentiments on Friday. They joined Arizona’s Raúl Grijalva, who had called for Biden to withdraw earlier in the week.

During his interview, Biden declined to take a cognitive test or make the results public to demonstrate his fitness for another term. “I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day I have that test – everything I do [is a test],” he told George Stephanopoulos. This response did not sit well with Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu of California, who described his answer as “unsettling and not particularly convincing.” She indicated she would be closely monitoring his performance, especially in spontaneous situations.

Biden rejected suggestions that his allies might ask him to step aside, insisting “it’s not going to happen.” When pressed by Stephanopoulos on his capacity to serve another term, Biden stated, “I don’t think anybody’s more qualified to be president or win this race than me.”

As Biden prepares for a rally in Pennsylvania on Sunday, he expressed gratitude to Vice-President Kamala Harris for her support during the interview. Harris has emerged as a leading contender to replace him if he steps down. She is scheduled to attend the Essence Festival in New Orleans on Saturday, an event targeting black female voters, a crucial demographic for Democrats.

Despite her increased visibility, questions surrounding Biden’s candidacy and the potential for Harris to take his place are likely to persist. Harris has closely shadowed the president over the past week, attending various events and meetings, including a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The internal discord among Democrats underscores the uncertainty and high stakes of the upcoming election, as the party grapples with the best path forward to secure a victory in November.

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