Biden tells Democrats he will stay in presidential race despite mounting criticism

Biden tells Democrats he will stay in presidential race despite mounting criticism

Incumbent US President Joe Biden has made it clear to members of his party that he has no intention of exiting this year's election early.

In a letter on his personal letterhead, Biden tried to assure Democrats in Congress that he was the party's ideal nominee and the "best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024".

He acknowledged rising concerns around his suitability for the positions, saying he was "not blind to them" and insisting he knew "better than anyone" the responsibilities and burdens that the party's nominee carries.

Biden reminded his party that he was their nominee, saying he would not ignore the decision of the voters of the Democratic Party who previously selected him as the right candidate.

Biden insists he will stay in race

Biden and members of his family have repeatedly insisted he will stay in the reelection race as calls for him to be replaced have grown louder.

Most recently first lady Jill Biden told supporters that she herself was "all in" for her husband's bid to remain the Democratic presidential nominee, during a speech to a military crowd following a barbeque in North Carolina.

The Democratic Party appears to be torn over whether Biden should stay on or stand aside as five Democratic lawmakers have said they felt the president should step aside.

Several Democratic committee lawmakers have also suggested that Biden should drop out of the race.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive to speak to active-duty military service members and their families, Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2024.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive to speak to active-duty military service members and their families, Washington, Thursday, July 4, 2024. - Susan Walsh/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Much of the criticism of Biden comes after a debate against his potential presidential rival Donald Trump in which he repeatedly lost his train of thought and failed to make an impact, stirring speculation that the 81-year-old president no longer had the mental fitness to run and win another four years in office.

Several US newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, have reported that there is evidence the President has lapses in mental sharpness but the full picture of how Biden's age impacts his ability to be an effective leader is difficult to determine.

Ascertaining the full picture is not helped by the fact that tailored videos of President Biden have previously been shared on social media by Republican supporters in an attempt to make him appear particularly old and senile.

Biden himself refused to take a cognitive test during an interview with ABC news channel, insisting that his ability to do his daily job as president was evidence enough that he was capable.

Democrats at a crossroads

As Biden is his party's presidential nominee, it is unlikely that he can be removed without stepping down himself.

Currently, although several Democrats have said they have lost faith in the president's nomination, they are still a minority and few are willing to go public with their claims.

The window to replace Biden, if it is a possibility, is growing smaller with the Democratic National Convention opening in Chicago on 19 August.

Biden, who is set to host NATO's 75th-anniversary summit in Washington this week, is under increased scrutiny to not make any mistakes or show any obvious signs of mental frailty.

After that, Biden has four months before election day to avoid any serious missteps that would reaffirm what his debate performance indicated to many - that he may be too old to serve another term as US President.