Raskin: Biden will be DNC convention keynote speaker, whether he or ‘someone else’ is candidate

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Sunday said the Democratic Party will need President Biden to play a vital role at the Democratic National Convention in August, regardless of whether he will be the party’s presidential nominee.

“So, we’re having a serious conversation about what to do. One thing I can tell you is that regardless of what President Biden decides … our party is going to be unified, and our party also needs him at the very center of our deliberations in our campaign,” Raskin said Sunday on MSNBC’s “Velshi.”

“And so, whether [Biden’s] the candidate or someone else is the candidate, he is going to be the keynote speaker at our convention. He will be the figure that we rally around to move forward and beat the forces of authoritarianism and reaction in the country.”

Biden’s debate performance last week sparked concerns within the Democratic party about keeping him at the top of the party’s ticket for the 2024 election after he showed difficulty putting ideas together and appeared tired and confused at times.

A growing number of Democratic voters and some unnamed lawmakers have called on Biden to step aside and allow a different candidate to take his place as the party’s nominee. Biden has already won the primary and thus cannot be overthrown at the convention, meaning the decision would be up to him.

“Obviously, there was a big problem with Joe Biden’s debate performance, and there’s also just a tremendous reservoir of affection and love for Joe Biden in our party,” Raskin said. “And so, this makes it a difficult situation for everybody. But there are very honest and serious and rigorous conversations taking place at every level of our party, because it is a political party, and we have differences in point of view.

Raskin argued Biden “came back roaring” in North Carolina, where he held a rally on Friday after the debate, while still noting the concerns still felt in his party.

“I thought that was a very sharp and hard-hitting speech when he was in North Carolina. And so that gave me some comfort, but I know there are still a lot of concerns out there and those are not concerns that are ill-motivated in any way. Again, we love Joe Biden. He’s been a magnificent president.

Names of potential replacements have included Vice President Harris, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).

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