Top Democrat admits party is having ‘serious’ talks about dropping Biden as nominee for ‘someone else’

Top Democrat admits party is having ‘serious’ talks about dropping Biden as nominee for ‘someone else’

One of the president’s most influential allies in the House of Representatives, Jamie Raskin, was the first elected Democrat to admit to a news program on the record this weekend that his party is having “serious conversations” about whether Joe Biden would continue on as the Democrats’ nominee.

Raskin appeared for an interview with Ali Velshi on MSNBC and explained that the party would be unified in the fall — whether it was behind Biden, or another nominee he indicated the party could possibly choose before then. Democrats are reeling in the wake of Thursday’s debate between Biden and Donald Trump, which was punctuated by moments when the president appeared confused or losing track of his points.

"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. So this makes it a difficult situation for everybody, but there are very honest and serious, rigorous, conversations taking place at every level of our party,” said Raskin.

“One thing I can tell you is that regardless of what President Biden decides, our party is going to be unified... And so whether he'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,” he continued.

The Maryland congressman is the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, one of the most powerful committees in the lower chamber.

Polling currently shows the incumbent president trailing his 2020 opponent, Donald Trump, in several key battleground states. He retains a fundraising lead over Trump, but it has yet to bear fruit in the field. The president’s campaign says it saw another fundraising surge in their favor following the debate — by Sunday, the campaign said it had raised more than $33m.

“It’s a familiar story: Following Thursday night’s debate, the beltway class is counting Joe Biden out. The data in the battleground states, though, tells a different story,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dixon added in a memo to supporters this weekend.

“Our team knows a thing or two about putting our heads down and doing the work to win hard races,” she continued. “This will be a very close election. It was always going to be...That’s what our campaign has been planning for.”

Trump and Biden on television during their presidential nominee debate last week (AP)
Trump and Biden on television during their presidential nominee debate last week (AP)

Biden’s debate performance, as many of his public remarks in recent years, was halting and at times provoked agonizing reactions as the president appeared unable to finish his thoughts — a cold, which presented itself in his hoarse voice, did him no favors either.

The president huddled with members of his family at Camp David on Sunday as reactions to the debate continued to pour in on social media in the form of cable news hits, polling samples and angry tweets from left-leaning pundits and commentators. The trip was planned in advance of the debate, and Biden aides rejected the implication that this was a moment where the Biden family was considering some tough choices about the future.

Democrats are due to nominate the incumbent president to run again at their nomination convention in August. The party held a primary earlier this year, but no prominent members competed for the nomination and no debates were held with those who did run for the nomination. As a result, Biden won the vast majority of delegates whose votes will determine the nomination at the convention.

He reportedly remains resolved to continue running in the presidential race and participating in a second debate this September. Down-ballot Democrats, meanwhile, have fretted to reporters that this makes their races even harder to run.