Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Biden is making appeals to donors as concerns persist over his presidential debate performance

NEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden looks at regaining his mojo and reassure donors at a fundraiser on Saturday that he is fully up to the challenge of defeating him Donald Trump.

The 81 year old disturbing performance The first presidential debate on Thursday upset many Democrats who see Trump as a threat after the January 6, 2021 insurrection existential threat to American democracy. Biden’s meandering answers and difficulty responding to Trump prompted the New York Times editorial board to declare Friday that he should drop out of the race and that staying in would be a “reckless gamble.”

Biden and his wife Jill planned to attend an afternoon campaign rally in East Hampton, New York, the beach town on Long Island where real estate company Zillow prices the average home at $1.9 million. Later, an evening fundraiser was planned in Red Bank, New Jersey.

After Thursday night’s debate, Biden said radiated more power in speeches in North Carolina and New York on Friday, saying he believes with “all my heart and soul” that he can fulfill the job of president.

The Biden campaign said it raised more than $27 million on Thursday and Friday, including $3 million at a fundraiser in New York City focused on the LGBTQ+ community.

Jill Biden told supporters on Friday that he told her after the debate, “You know, Jill, I don’t know what happened. I didn’t think it was that great.” The first lady then said she told him, “Look, Joe, we’re not going to let 90 minutes define your four years as president.”

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The Democratic president still has to allay the fears stoked by the debate, which seeped into the public conscience with clips and memes spreading online and public pressure for him to drop out of the race.

Democratic donors in New York, Southern California and Silicon Valley privately expressed deep concerns about the viability of Biden’s campaign in the wake of his debate performance.

In a series of text messages and private conversations, they discussed the short list of potential replacements, a group that also included Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris.

But there was no formal pressure on Biden to resign on Friday. In fact, some suspected that would never happen, given the logistical challenges of replacing the presumptive nominee just four months before Election Day.

Some donors noted that they would pause their personal donations, saying that revenue from Biden’s weekend fundraiser would almost certainly be strong because tickets had already been sold and paid for before the debate.



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