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Some Democrats are pleading with Biden to consider dropping out : NPR

President Biden attends Mount Airy Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia on July 7 as he campaigns to salvage his reelection bid. Senior Democrats are meeting to talk about the race.

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PHILADELPHIA — President Biden campaigned in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania on Sunday as he pushes to try to resurrect his reelection bid, even as some Democrats took to television to say he should strongly consider dropping out of the race.

Biden, 81, has said that “the Lord Almighty” could convince him to step back from his campaign for a second term after he badly faltered in a debate with former President Donald Trump — a performance that alarmed Democrats worried that he no longer has what it takes to run, win and govern.

He has been trying to demonstrate that his debate flub was just one bad night and not a sign of something more serious. He attended Sunday services at Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, where a praise band belted out the worship song, “I need you to survive,” and Bishop J. Louis Felton led a call-and-response for Biden, and urged unity.

“Forgive us for allowing the enemy to drive wedges between us,” Felton prayed. “Because if we ever lock arms and come together, there’s no election that we cannot win.”

President Biden lifts his arms in praise during a service at Mount Airy Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia on July 7, 2024.

President Biden lifts his arms in praise during a service at Mount Airy Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia on July 7, 2024.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images/AFP


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Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images/AFP

House Democrats are meeting on Sunday. Some went on TV to express concern

Democratic leaders in the House were convening a virtual meeting on Sunday with the top Democrats on House committees. Some appeared on Sunday morning political talk shows, reflecting the range of opinions within the party about whether Biden should stay at the top of the ticket.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said he wants Biden to “seek out people with some distance and objectivity” as he weighs his decision. He noted that an interview Biden did with ABC on Friday “didn’t put concerns to rest” about his candidacy — particularly Biden’s assertion that — even if he loses to Trump in November — what matters most is that he gives it his all.

“This is not just about whether he gave it the best college try, but rather whether he made the right decision to run or to pass the torch,” Schiff told NBC’s Meet the Press. He also said he thinks Vice President Harris could beat Trump if Biden decides to step back.

But Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said she is heard from voters during the Independence Day break that Biden should stay in. “I had people in parades shout at me, ‘Tell him to stay — we have his back,'” she told CNN’s State of the Union. “I really do think that as much as you’re hearing a lot of different opinions from other people, that’s what’s happening,” she said.

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., said he had spoke with Biden on Saturday. The president talked about what he’s seeing in internally polling data, and what his plans were for coming days. “He is as pumped and as eager as I’ve seen to make sure he’s taking this campaign seriously,” Padilla told MSNBC.

Biden faces a critical week in Washington, as his party’s lawmakers return to Congress — and world leaders come to the city for a NATO summit, where Biden is set to give a rare solo press conference, where he will be faced with answering more questions about his age and abilities.

On Friday, Biden heads to Michigan to campaign, hitting the third “Blue Wall” state in a week, after Pennsylvania on Sunday and Wisconsin on Friday.

Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta contributed to this story.




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