Joe Biden Reportedly Tells Ally He's Weighing Whether to Drop Out of Race. The White House Disputes It

Calls for President Biden to abandon his reelection bid have grown louder as many Democrats fear he won't recover from his troublesome debate performance

<p>Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty</p> President Joe Biden at the first presidential debate on June 27, 2024

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty

President Joe Biden at the first presidential debate on June 27, 2024

President Joe Biden is reportedly aware that his reelection campaign is on thin ice, as calls for him to drop out of the 2024 presidential race grow louder following his dismal debate performance last week.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday, July 3, that Biden, 81, recently spoke to a key ally about the uncertainty of his political future. The ally, whose name was not published, told the newspaper how their alleged conversation unfolded.

"He knows if he has two more events like that, we’re in a different place," the ally said, claiming that Biden knows his campaign may not be salvageable without a quick change in the narrative.

Related: Joe Biden Addresses Presidential Debate Performance: 'Don't Speak as Smoothly as I Used to'

Biden reportedly sees the next few days as important tests for how things progress. He has upcoming appearances scheduled in key swing states, a news conference at the NATO Summit next week, plus a high-stakes interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Friday, which he will need to ace if he wants a chance at dispelling fears.

Andrew Bates, a senior deputy press secretary at the White House, told the Times that their reporting about Biden's conversation with the ally was false and that they were not given enough time to properly respond to the claims.

Related: Kamala Harris Would Outperform Joe Biden in 2024 Matchup Against Donald Trump: New Poll

On Wednesday afternoon, ABC News cited multiple sources who reiterated a similar point to the Times: that Biden has privately expressed an awareness about the shaky situation he's in.

ABC's sources, however, could not corroborate the Times' claim that Biden thinks his campaign cannot be salvaged.

A source told ABC that Biden still believes he's the best candidate if Democrats want to defeat Donald Trump in November, but that he told at least one ally he is keeping an "open mind" about next steps.

Related: Biden Says Democracy Is at Risk in This Election After Supreme Court's Decision on Presidential Immunity

<p>MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty </p> Presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama appear at a June 15 campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles


Presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama appear at a June 15 campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles

The White House, Biden-Harris campaign and members of Biden's administration have held firm that the incumbent will continue his reelection bid, pushing the idea that one bad 90-minute debate performance doesn't erase the legislative achievements of Biden's first term.

But critics have argued that — even to those who appreciate Biden — his frailty on debate night reinforced an already prevalent fear about the president's cognitive health. He would be 86 at the end of his first term.

Though former President Barack Obama has continued to publicly sing Biden's praises, he privately warned Democratic allies that the president's already tough path to reelection became more difficult after the debate, The Washington Post reported, citing multiple sources familiar with their conversations.

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