Biden will face reporters tonight — and the dam could break soon after

Biden will face reporters tonight — and the dam could break soon after
  • Joe Biden is set to host his first live press conference since his disastrous debate.

  • It will be a massive litmus test in his reelection campaign.

  • Supporters say he'll silence critics, but the dam could break on calls for him to drop out.

Thursday will be a massive litmus test for Joe Biden's reelection campaign — and his critics are ready to pounce.

The president is set to host an unscripted, live press conference to conclude the NATO summit in Washington, DC.

The beleaguered president — whose disastrous debate has sparked fallout within the Democratic party and cemented Donald Trump's lead in battleground states — will take questions from reporters live on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

All eyes will be on Biden's performance. Multiple Democratic lawmakers have called on him to hold more unscripted events, including news conferences, something Biden has done far less of than his predecessors at this point.

It doesn't help matters that the last time voters saw the president live and unscripted was at the debate, where his mumbling voice, frozen stare, and, at times, incoherent answers fueled doubts he's up to the task of taking on former President Donald Trump.

Biden loyalists are framing Thursday's presser as a way for the president — who has repeatedly vowed to stay in the race — to silence his critics.

But calls for him to drop out are growing and it's possible the dam could break after Thursday's conference.

Biden and the White House kept a major revolt at bay as lawmakers returned to Washington earlier in the week. But former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised eyebrows on Wednesday when she portrayed the president as not making a final decision despite Biden's repeated statements that he's going nowhere.

Pelosi also reportedly urged Democrats to "hold off" on publicly discussing Biden's candidacy until the NATO summit concludes.

"You don't have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week," Pelosi said Wednesday on "Morning Joe."

Biden hasn't held a solo news conference for eight months, The New York Times reported, though Biden did sit down for a recorded interview with the ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos the week after the debate.

Stephanopoulos was later caught on video saying he didn't believe the president could serve four more years.

The Times says a White House planning document for the presser lays out potential questions Biden may be asked, including about his age and mental health, calls for him to drop out, and why he wants to stay in the race.

Meanwhile, pressure is growing for Biden to step aside.

Polling reportedly shows Biden trailing badly in swing states, and even Democratic strongholds like New York are starting to crack.

On Wednesday, the movie star and Democratic donor George Clooney wrote an op-ed calling for Biden to quit and said his performance at the debate wasn't a one-off.

"It's devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe 'big F-ing deal' Biden of 2010," Clooney wrote. "He wasn't even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate."

Biden's team pushed back by saying Biden has more stamina than Clooney.

Axios also reported that some of Biden's biggest allies — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Pelosi — privately say they'd be open to him dropping out.

By Wednesday night, Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont became the first senator to call on Biden to withdraw from the race.

Thursday's news conference will be a chance for Biden to show he's capable of a vigorous campaign against Trump, a man that he and Democrats call an existential threat to democracy.

But any slip-up may be the excuse wary Democrats need to push them over the edge — and spark a mass public revolt against Biden's candidacy.

Read the original article on Business Insider