Democrats’ panic, calls for Biden to step aside grow as campaign desperately tries to push back

Panic is spreading within the Democratic Party.

The Democratic National Committee blasted the campaign’s treatment of President Biden, accusing it of gaslighting. Meanwhile, the campaign accused the nervous Democrats for “bedwetting” after the disastrous debate.

Biden’s allies tried to calm fears about his campaign’s waning by demonstrating unwavering support. Many complained that the campaign didn’t take seriously the negative fallout of the president’s abysmal performance in the debate.

Mr. Biden was not visible at Camp David, but his surrogates were thronging to Sunday talk shows.


The Associated Press reported on Sunday evening that the family had used the Sunday gathering in Camp David to encourage him to continue his campaign. Several of these family members claimed that his staff did not prepare him adequately for the debate on Thursday.

The wire service quoted “four people who are familiar with the discussion.”

White House officials immediately dismissed an earlier report that said Mr. Biden spent the day with his family discussing the futures of his campaign.

The first major poll after the debate released on Sunday night showed that Mr. Biden’s Democrats were in trouble.

CBS News/YouGov revealed that 72% voters, including 41% Democrats, believe Mr. Biden does not have the cognitive and mental abilities to be president. This is up from the 65% of voters who expressed concerns about President Biden’s mental acuity two weeks earlier.

Jaime Harrison, Democratic National Committee chairman and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden campaign manager, held a call on Saturday afternoon to reassure the most influential members of the party that Mr. Biden is here to stay.

Some people on the call felt “gaslit” because the duo refused to take any questions and gave a glowing assessment of Mr. Biden’s chances against the former president Donald Trump in November.

“There was a variety of things I could have said to address the situation. We didn’t hear that. Joe Salazar, a Colorado DNC member, told The Associated Press that he felt like he was being gaslit.

Others on the call described it as “feeling gaslit”. This term means being misled or manipulated into not believing what you see or feel.

Biden’s campaign also responded Sunday by sending an email to raise money accusing certain members of the party as “bedwetters.”

In the note, Flaherty reiterated that Mr. Biden would be the Democratic nominee and encouraged the party to back him.

In the email, Mr. Flaherty said: “The bedwetting gang is calling on Joe Biden to drop out. That’s the best way Donald Trump can win and we lose.”

The email said: “Joe Biden will be the Democratic candidate, period.” The email concluded with the words “End of story”. “And if it were him to drop out, that would lead to weeks and weeks of chaos, food fights within the party, and a bunch candidates limping into a brutal battle on the floor at convention,” Flaherty wrote.

Mr. Flaherty pointed to a poll conducted after the debate, which showed that Vice President Kamala Harri and Mr. Biden still scored higher than Democratic alternatives.

Data for Progress is a left-wing advocacy organization. The poll showed that Ms. Harris and Mr. Biden would each get 45% of the vote in comparison to Mr. Trump who received 48%.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, New Jersey Sen. Cory A. Booker, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would all get 44% while Sen. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro received 43% of the vote against Donald Trump.

All Democrats surveyed lost to Trump by 2 or even 3 percentage points. This is a statistical wash.

Mr. Flaherty wrote: “At the end of it all, we would switch to candidates that, according to polls, are less likely to win, than Joe Biden – the only person to ever defeat Donald Trump.”

Nate Silver, an election statistician, reacted to Mr. Flaherty’s email immediately in a blog post on X. He noted that a slight advantage over lesser-known individuals is actually a negative sign.

Silver wrote: “Most of the Democrats are doing as well as Biden in this poll despite not being well known, which tends to lower your polling.” “That they have come up with this as their best argument shows how weak their argument is.”

In an email sent on Sunday to donors, officials boasted about Mr. Biden’s fundraising efforts since the debate. This included $26 million raised by grassroots donors.

Officials of the campaign try to assure donors and supporters that Biden “had just a bad evening” and should be rated on his performance in office and not on the 90-minute discussion.

Mr. Biden spent Saturday trying his best to cover up his rambling, slack jawed debate performance in front of wealthy donors at an upscale New Jersey fundraiser. He claimed that his poor performance had won over independents voters.

He told the crowd that “research shows that we converted more undecided votes than Trump, largely because of his behavior on Jan. 6,” he said. “People still remember his bad presidency.”

The event took place at the home of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. According to the Biden Campaign, Phil Murphy, a Democrat raised $3.7 Million.

Mr. Biden claimed that his polling among Democrats increased during the debate. But several polls, including one conducted by CNN immediately following the debate in the last two days, indicate that Mr. Biden is losing support among voters.

The president acknowledged that he did not do well at the debate but refused to be deterred.

Mr. Biden said to the crowd, “I didn’t really have a good night but I will fight harder.”

Even so, the calls for Mr. Biden’s withdrawal are becoming louder.

Tom Harkin, a former senator from Iowa and Democrat who supports Biden, has been the most vocal critic of the president within his own party. He told an Iowa paper over the weekend that the debate had been “a disaster” from which Biden could not recover.

Mr. Harkin said that all Democratic Senators, including himself, who are over 84, should write Mr. Biden to ask him to release the delegates he has and to step down so that the party could choose a candidate.

On Sunday, another major newspaper called for Mr. Biden’s resignation from the race, and to allow a more youthful, energetic candidate to take his place.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s editorial board, called Mr. Biden’s debate performance “excruciating.” The board said, “Retirement is now necessary.”

“The unfortunate fact is that Biden must withdraw from the race for the sake of the country he has served with such admirable dedication for over half a century.