Biden weighs dropping out of race if he can’t repair debate damage, reports say

President Joe Biden is reportedly weighing dropping out of the presidential race if he cannot repair the damage from his poor debate performance.

Two published reports Wednesday claimed Biden told an unnamed “top ally” he would consider pulling the plug on his campaign in coming days if he believes he cannot convince the American public he is fit to win against Donald Trump.

The New York Times quoted one “top ally” as saying Biden is aware the clock is ticking for him to demonstrate he can do the job.

“He knows if he has two more events like that, we’re in a different place,” the ally told the Times.

CNN reported something similar, quoting an unnamed ally who described the president as open to the question of whether he should stay in the race.

“He sees the moment. He’s clear-eyed,” this person told CNN. “He’s not oblivious.”

The White House flatly denied the Times report.

“(The) claim is absolutely false,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said on the social media platform X. “If the New York Times had provided us with more than 7 minutes to comment we would have told them so.”

It wasn’t clear whether the allies mentioned in the two reports are the same person.

Quentin Fulks, a campaign official, called the reports mere “rumors.”

Both reports suggested Biden would take stock of the situation over the coming long holiday weekend.

If true, the reports mark a dramatic change in Biden’s approach to the firestorm over his debate with Trump last week.

Up to now, Biden and his closest advisers have projected total determination to stay in the race and say they have not even considered dropping out.