Home » Democratic senator says Trump is on track to win as Pelosi says Biden must ‘decide if he’s going to run’ | US elections 2024

Democratic senator says Trump is on track to win as Pelosi says Biden must ‘decide if he’s going to run’ | US elections 2024

by John Jefferson
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A Democratic senator has predicted Donald Trump will defeat Joe Biden in a “landslide” while the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, said it was up to Biden “to decide if he’s going to run”, in remarks that will intensify the pressure on the president to reconsider his determination to stay in the race.

In an impassioned interview with CNN, Michael Bennet of Colorado said he believed Biden could no longer win November’s election and said his campaign needed to assess the decision of whether he steps aside in “moral” terms based on the importance of saving the country from the “American tragedy” of a second Trump presidency.

“This race is on a trajectory that is very worrisome if you care about the future of this country,” Bennet told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election and maybe win it by a landslide, and take with him the Senate and the House. It’s not a question about politics, it’s a moral question about the future of our country.”

Pelosi, who was speaker of the House until the Republicans regained control of it in the 2022 midterm elections, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that “it’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run” and said of House Democrats: “We’re all encouraging him to make that decision. Because time is running short.”

The Hollywood actor and Democratic fundraiser George Clooney on Wednesday added his voice to the growing number of calls for Biden to drop out. In an opinion article for the New York Times, he expressed concern about the president’s showing at a recent fundraiser in Los Angeles, where he “wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.” Clooney called Biden a friend but said “the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time”.

Bennet’s and Pelosi’s comments followed a lunch meeting of the Democratic Senate caucus in which Bennet and two other senators, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana, reportedly said they believed Biden was no longer able to win after the 27 June debate failure, in which he appeared repeatedly confused, lost his train of thought and failed to counter a spate of lies from Trump.

While no senators have explicitly called for Biden to step aside – in contrast to seven House members who have appealed to him to abandon his re-election bid – the debate fallout has plunged the Democrats into paralysis as the campaign approaches a key phase.

Biden has emphatically refused to yield to pressure to bow out, writing to the party’s congressional contingent en masse to emphasise that he is there to stay and throwing the gauntlet down to doubters to challenge him at next month’s convention in Chicago.

He has secured crucial support from the Congressional Black caucus, although on Wednesday one of its members, Marc Veasey of Texas, became the first to break ranks by telling CNN that Democrats running in tight races should “distance themselves” from Biden in an effort to “do whatever it is they need to do” to win.

Bennet, while stopping short of an all-out call for Biden to withdraw, said that defiant posture was unfitting to the moment – even while voicing empathy for the position of a president who had served his party and country for more than half a century.

“I’m sure President Biden has a different view of his prospects in this election than I do, but we should be having a discussion,” he said. “The White House in the time since that disastrous debate has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win.

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“I have not seen anything remotely approaching the kind of plan we need to see out of the White House that can demonstrate that he can actually beat Donald Trump, which is not going to be about the accomplishments that we all had, you know, three and four years ago. This is something for the president to consider.”

Bennet’s comments came after a meeting of House Democrats yesterday that failed to produce an expected groundswell of calls for Biden to stand aside but instead saw some previously sceptical members back down in the face of his resolve to continue. Rumbles of discontent among House members continue, however.

The president himself held a virtual meeting from the White House on Tuesday evening with about 200 Democratic mayors in which he restated his determination to re and reportedly won their support.

The 40-minute meeting consisted of Biden talking for the first 20 minutes and taking just three questions – chosen by a moderator, Kate Gallego, the mayor of Phoenix – the New York Times reported.

Participants could not see who else was on the call or add comments to a chat screen but they were able to show their feelings by adding emojis, with many contributing smiley faces in response to Biden’s words.

The president reportedly called the debate “a lousy night”. He promised to prioritise housebuilding in his second term and warned the mayors about the consequences of another Trump presidency, focusing on the ex-president’s pledge to be a dictator “only on day one” and stressing the Project 2025 rightwing blueprint for government, which Trump has recently, though unconvincingly, disavowed.

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