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Biden ‘declines’ to step aside, calls for end to party drama

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Washington, July 8: President Joe Biden, in a letter to congressional Democrats, stood firm against calls for him to drop his candidacy and called for an “end” to the intraparty drama that has torn apart Democrats since his dismal public debate performance.
Biden’s efforts to shore up a deeply anxious Democratic Party came on Monday as lawmakers are returning to Washington and confronting a choice: decide whether to work to revive his campaign or edge out the party leader, a make-or-break time for his reelection and their own political futures.
Biden wrote in the two-page letter that “the question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end”. He stressed that the party has “one job”, which is to defeat presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in November. “We have 42 days to the Democratic Convention and 119 days to the general election,” Biden said in the letter, distributed by his reelection campaign. “Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It’s time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump.” He followed up the letter with a phone interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, on which he insisted that “average Democrats” want him to stay in the race and said he was “frustrated” by the calls from party officials for him to step aside.
“They’re big names, but I don’t care what those big names think,” Biden said.
He threw the gauntlet at his critics, saying if they’re serious they ought to “announce for president, challenge me at the convention” or rally behind him against Trump. (AP)

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