Biden Tells Congressional Democrats He’s Not Going Anywhere

Biden Tells Congressional Democrats He’s Not Going Anywhere 1

Biden is staying defiant and refusing to drop out of the race for the presidency—despite growing calls from Congressional Democrats to do so.Kyle Mazza/SOPA/ZUMA

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President Biden has a message for the growing number of Democrats raising concerns about his ability to beat Donald Trump following his disastrous debate performance: Challenge me.

“Run against me, go ahead,” Biden said during a phone interview with MSNBC on Monday. “Announce for president. Challenge me at the convention.”

The remarks, which also expressed frustration with what he claimed were “elites in the party” calling for him to step aside, came on the heels of a similarly defiant letter he drafted to congressional Democrats on Monday. The two-page letter sought to end speculation over whether he would remain the Democratic nominee, writing, “I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump.”

In the lengthy missive, Biden acknowledged concerns about his candidacy, characterizing them as “good faith fears and worries about what is at stake in this election.” But he ultimately dismissed the criticism as a product of “the press,” “pundits,” “big donors,” and “any selected group of individuals.”

“The voters of the Democratic Party have voted. They have chosen me to be the nominee of the party. Do we now just say this process doesn’t matter? That the voters don’t have a say? I decline to do that,” Biden wrote.

But neither the letter nor his MSNBC interview is likely to assuage Democrats. Since the debate, Biden’s various gaffes, the dismal polling showing nearly half of Democrats think he should drop out and that Vice President Kamala Harris polls better against Trump than Biden does, and an ABC News interview that hardly inspired confidence have only seemed to hurt Biden’s arguments to stick with his candidacy.

Biden’s letter follows reporting from the Washington Post that Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) was planning a Monday meeting with Senate Democrats seeking to ask Biden to exit the race. The meeting was subsequently canceled. And yesterday, at least four House Democratic committee leaders reportedly said on a call with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) that Biden should drop out.