President Joe Biden has entered a crucial phase in his effort to salvage his reelection campaign, emphasizing that the stakes extend far beyond his political future to the country’s economy and democracy. In an interview with a Wisconsin radio station that aired Thursday, Biden stated, “The stakes are really high. I know you know this. For democracy, for freedom … our economy, they’re all on the line”, told WHYY.

Following his disappointing debate performance last week against Republican Donald Trump, there is growing concern that Biden has only days to prove his fitness for office before losing Democratic support. Biden added, “The president is the most powerful office in the world. But we need someone with wisdom and character.”

The interview on the Earl Ingram Show was part of a series of media and public events that Biden and his team acknowledge as a make-or-break moment. According to a source familiar with the plans, some financial backers are holding off or canceling upcoming fundraisers. After hosting a July Fourth evening barbecue at the White House for military families, Biden is scheduled to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday and participate in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, which will air as a prime-time special that night. He plans to be in Philadelphia on Sunday and hold a news conference during the NATO summit in Washington next week.

Biden’s campaign faces uncertainty as whispers about who might replace him grow louder. For now, Biden remains committed to running and has conveyed this in conversations with Democratic governors, allies, and staffers. However, time is running short for any potential change. The Democratic National Committee announced that it would hold a virtual roll call for a formal nomination before the national convention, which begins on August 19.

“I’m proud to be running for reelection as a president who’s made his promises and I’ve kept them,” Biden said in the radio interview. Reflecting on the debate, he admitted, “I had a bad night. A bad night. I screwed up. But 90 minutes on stage does not erase what I’ve done for 3 1/2 years,” he said in another interview with Philadelphia-area WURD Radio, told AP News.

In private conversations, Biden has focused on reversing the trajectory from his rocky debate and emphasized the critical nature of this year’s presidential election. During one call, when asked about the potential failure of his efforts, Biden stressed the importance of the race and his commitment to putting the country first.

Biden met with more than 20 Democratic governors at the White House on Wednesday night, discussing his health and campaign strategy. The White House has attributed Biden’s debate performance, where he appeared pale and his voice trailed off, to a cold and jet lag following foreign trips. Despite calls for more robust medical records, Biden’s doctor declared him fit for duty after his last full physical in February.

Two Democratic lawmakers have publicly called for Biden to drop out of the race. However, most are adopting a wait-and-see approach, awaiting new polling and Biden’s upcoming interview. Vice President Kamala Harris is emerging as a potential replacement if Biden were to withdraw, with Govs. Gavin Newsom of California and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan also seen as viable alternatives. Trump has already targeted Harris, calling her “pathetic” in a video posted on his social media account.

As Biden’s campaign navigates this critical juncture, private frustration about the response to his debate performance continues to grow, particularly regarding the delay in addressing concerns within the party.



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