NATO leaders will vow to pour weapons into Ukraine for another year, but membership is off the table

Biden says he’ll ‘stay in the race’ as he fights to save candidacy, prepares for ABC interview

MADISON, Wis.: Fighting to save his imperiled re-election effort, President Joe Biden on Friday defiantly declared “I’m staying in the race” at a critical battleground state campaign rally as he prepared to sit down for a network television interview. all your answers will certainly be scrutinized to see if they prove your fitness and suitability to run for office.
In front of roughly 300 supporters at a Wisconsin high school, Biden again acknowledged his debate last week, saying “I can’t say it was my best performance,” but amid speculation about what he would do, he had an answer: “I’m running and I’m going to win again.” I will.”
“I beat Donald Trump,” Biden said. “I’ll convince you again.”
The rally came ahead of an interview that could be a watershed moment for Biden, who is under pressure to drop out of the campaign after his disastrous debate performance against Republican Donald Trump fueled concerns that the 81-year-old Democrat is unfit for the job. four more years.
The interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, taped after a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin, was expected to be intense, and two people familiar with the president’s efforts said it was aggressively prepared. They spoke anonymously about the interior design.
There was widespread agreement that Biden could not afford to have another “bad day,” and that’s how he described the debate. It was not clear that even a so-and-so performance would be enough to satisfy concerns about his fitness for duty.
The White House itself raised the stakes for Biden’s interview, according to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “millions of Americans” are expected to watch it.
While there is deep concern among Democratic lawmakers, donors and strategists after Biden’s damaging debate performance, most members of the party have stoked a public fire as they wait to see if the president can restore confidence with his weekend travel schedule and handling of the Stephanopoulos. interview. It will air in its entirety on ABC on Friday night.
But at least three House Democrats have asked Biden to withdraw from the nomination, including Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. and Rep. expressed his concern in a radio interview Thursday, joining Reps. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, and Raúl Grijalva. , D-Arizona, looking for an alternative.
“President Biden has done a tremendous service to our country, but now is the time for him to follow in the footsteps of one of our founding fathers, George Washington, and step aside so that new leaders can rise up and run against Donald Trump,” Moulton told the radio station. station WBUR on Thursday.
While he wouldn’t go that far, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey said in a carefully worded statement Friday that Biden must now decide the “best way forward.”
“In the coming days, I encourage him to listen to the American people and take a hard look at whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump,” Healey said. Whatever President Biden decides, I am committed to doing everything I can to defeat Donald Trump.
Many Democratic lawmakers, listening to constituents at home during the holiday week, are split on whether Biden should stay or go. Lawmakers were deeply frustrated by his campaign’s response to the crisis. Privately, debate among House Democrats flared this week as word spread that some were drafting public letters suggesting the president drop out of the race.
Still, the pushback from other House Democrats was fierce, and the letters from Democrats in competitive re-election bids and those in easier races that were said to be at issue have never been released.
“Any ‘leader’ who signs a letter calling for President Biden to step down needs to get their priorities straight and abandon this incredible actual leader who has delivered real results for our country,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. an influential member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Biden appears to have drawn closer to his family and inner circle as he tries to prove that he remains the top choice for Democrats in the November election.
Hunter Biden’s omnipresence in the West Wing since the debate has created an uncomfortable dynamic for staffers, according to two Democrats close to the White House, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue. .
For many staffers, it was an unsettling and questionable choice at a high-stakes moment when Hunter Biden’s look, just weeks after he was convicted of gun crimes, took a bigger role in advising his father.
Despite the uncertainty, Biden’s re-election campaign is moving forward with aggressive plans. He plans to pair his in-person events with a new $50 million ad campaign this month to capitalize on high-viewing moments like the Summer Olympics, which begin July 26 in Paris.
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff are scheduled to travel to each battleground state this month, while organizers plan to knock on more than 3 million doors in July and August to reach voters in person. a new $17 million effort.
Biden himself is scheduled to campaign in Pennsylvania on Sunday. He was originally scheduled to speak to the National Education Association in Philadelphia on Sunday, but the campaign canceled the plans after the group announced a strike on Friday. According to the campaign, the president does not cross a line.
He will travel to southwestern states, including Nevada, after hosting next week’s NATO summit in Washington, the campaign said Friday. He continues to focus his travels on the so-called “blue wall” states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — that have been critical for him in the past.
In the strategic memo released Friday morning, the campaign also specifically emphasized that Biden will participate in “frequent, unusual moments” – which once marked the career of the sociable, cheerful politician, which nevertheless declined during his presidency.
Every moment is now critical for Biden to regain the confidence lost from last week’s shaky performance in Atlanta. But the president continued to make slip-ups that didn’t help that effort.
In an interview with Philadelphia radio station WURD that aired Thursday, Biden stumbled and said, “I’m proud to be, as I said, the first vice president, the first black woman to serve under a black president.” oft-used lines about being proud to have served alongside the first black president and elected the first black woman as vice president.
Verbal mistakes like these aren’t unusual for Biden, but in this environment they get extra attention.
At a hastily arranged gathering of more than 20 Democratic governors Wednesday night, Biden acknowledged that he needs to sleep more and limit evening events to rest up for work, according to three people who spoke on condition of anonymity about the private meeting. California Gov. Gavin Newsom later told reporters in Holland, Michigan, that Biden’s comment about restricting events after 8 p.m. was only a joke, noting that he said it “with a smile on his face.”
Jean-Pierre, in trying to explain these comments, emphasized that Biden “works around the clock” but also “recognizes the importance of balance and self-care.”
Still, Newsom said that no one in the room was “whitewashed” by the reality of last week’s debate.
“You watched the physiology.” You’ve seen everything about him. It was the breathing, the physical, the whole thing,” Newsom said at a later event in Holland.
He said Biden asked all the governors for advice and told the president to focus more on discussing the future.
There are signs that key groups are already taking positions on who will succeed Biden as the Democratic nominee.
Glynda C. Carr, CEO of Higher Heights for America PAC, which supports black female candidates, said Harris should lead the ticket if Biden resigns, saying that anyone else would be “another example of the ongoing dismissal of black female leadership. the national narrative.”
“Plainly speaking, Vice President Harris cannot be on the list of potential replacements — Kamala Harris is the only successor,” Carr said.
Biden is expected to use his rally in Madison to tick off his favorite talking points as he works to defeat Trump, touching on democracy, the economy and protecting “our rights and freedoms,” according to his campaign.
Wisconsin officials will speak, including Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and state party chairman Ben Wikler. Notably, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for re-election in one of the most critical races for Senate control this year, will be elsewhere.

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