These Are the Democrats Backing Joe Biden in the 2024 Election

Since the failed election debates with President Biden on June 27, Democratic lawmakers’ worries and panic have dominated the conversation. For liberals, worrying about the election has become a near-full-time job.

But there is another, often much louder, group of Democrats who have doubled down on support for Biden in recent days and are calling on their liberal colleagues to stay the course. sometimes in an exasperated tone as they head toward a confrontation with former President Donald Trump in November.

“For me, it’s a no-brainer,” said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), of his decision to continue supporting the president against Trump. “I’m going to continue to go all the way.”

Biden’s most vocal defenders differ from the large group of lawmakers who have praised him after questions about his mental acuity and fitness. Those elected officials have also given themselves some wiggle room to jump ship if Democratic sentiment turns against the president, with carefully worded statements. They note that they are “concerned” or that they want the president to show that his debate performance was a one-off by, for example, having more “unscripted” interactions with voters in the coming days.

These unqualified Biden fans, On the other hand, they argue adamantly that the 81-year-old president has the best chance of winning and that Democrats are only hurting themselves by engaging in a messy partisan battle with just four months to go before the election.

“We’re losing the thread,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) told a swarm of reporters at the Capitol on Monday. “We’re not talking about what we need to be talking about.”

Biden’s supporters range from leftists like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to Democrats who won in swing districts and states, like Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) and Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.). Members of the influential Congressional Black Caucus make up a significant portion of the defenders. Some are vocal and combative in their counterarguments, mingling with other politicians and people on X and, in some cases, seem to relish the fight.

Fetterman, who survived his own disastrous debate performances for the 2022 election, is, as usual, trolling everyone on X, painting Democrats calling for change as disloyal “vultures” who have never defeated Trump in an election.

“Every Dem is free to put your bad self in that arena for the Iron Throne,” he wrote. “But if you’re not proud to support Biden, it’s just cheap shots from the cheap seats.”

He called Biden’s behavior “perfect” during an appearance on Fox News after appearing with him in Philadelphia over the weekend.

And Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), 85, received a standing ovation at Essence Fest last weekend when she said “it’s going to Biden” and that “there will be no other Democratic nominee.”

“People are talking about, ‘Biden is too old’ — hell, I’m older than Biden,” Waters said. “And I get up every morning. And I exercise. And I work late. I take care of black people. Trump has told you who he is, he has defined himself. He is a worthless, despicable, lying, contemptible human being.”

Biden’s defenders mix the pragmatic with the idealistic. Some argue that the logistical and political risks of changing horses at this point would be dire. Others argue that Biden owes his party loyalty, pointing to his legislative record in his first term.

“If we say President Biden is no longer our guy, I don’t really understand what kind of team we’re going to put together,” said Stevens, who has defended Biden in recent days on group calls with nervous lawmakers. She expressed concern about reassembling a coalition for a new nominee in her state of Michigan. “I have a lot of confidence in him,” she said of Biden.

Other lawmakers feared their colleagues were being too quick to express their support, when they had enthusiastically backed the man just a few months ago.

“Most, if not all, of my colleagues who spoke out against his candidacy only came forward after a 90-minute debate,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio). “These same colleagues were on the floor with me when I was in the [March] “During the joint meeting we stood up and applauded his speech.”

Beatty, the CBC member, said Biden had said she would be “first in line” to endorse Vice President Harris for president, but only if that decision came from Biden and Harris — not Congress.

Republican Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) predicted “a hardening of the vast majority of the membership” in favor of Biden, including the CBC and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “I’ve never had any doubts about the president,” he said.

Biden’s campaign has been eager to share positive comments from lawmakers like Garcia on social media in recent days, as the president tries to quell any possibility of a Hill-based rebellion against his candidacy. House lawmakers returned to Washington on Monday and are scheduled to meet as a group for the first time since the debate on Tuesday morning, with senators scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon.

Biden served as a senator on Capitol Hill for more than three decades and has built goodwill with many Democrats, especially in the Senate. The calls for him to resign have clearly irritated him.

“The question of how to move forward has been a topic of conversation for more than a week. And it is time for it to end,” Biden wrote in a letter to the Hill on Monday. “Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us.”

But the questions about his candidacy showed no sign of going away Monday. Several senators, including Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said they still needed more reassurance that Biden can beat Trump. Others, like Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), called for a “family conversation” about a path forward.

Biden advocates are skeptical that these talks can lead to a different solution then stick with Biden. “There’s no single criterion for how Biden can prove himself that will satisfy everybody,” Padilla said. He added that he hopes senators will “move forward” after a luncheon discussion on the issue Tuesday.

Sanders, who ran against Biden for the nomination in 2020, has also defended Biden’s candidacy, telling CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he would not participate in a proposed discussion among senators about Biden’s future, even as he pressed the president on some policy issues.

“This is not a Grammy Award contest for best vocalist,” Sanders said. “Biden is old. He’s not as eloquent as he used to be. I wish he could jump up the steps of Air Force One, but he can’t. … What we should be focused on is policy, whose policies have benefited and will benefit the vast majority of people in this country.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), another prominent liberal, called the matter “closed” and said Biden is the nominee.

And Omar, who has sharply criticized Biden’s handling of the Israel-Gaza war, delivered one of the strongest statements of support on Monday.

“He’s the best president I’ve ever had and we support him,” she told reporters.

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