'Doing My Goodest Job' To Beat Trump - Warner Rounds Up Senate Dems Against Biden After Disastrous 'Redemption' Interview

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jul 06, 2024 - 12:45 PM

On the heels of his flub-filled Fourth of July, President Biden's Friday appearances did nothing to reverse his humiliating march to a seemingly inevitable exit from the 2024 presidential campaign. The day brought more head-scratching misstatements and garbled lines on the campaign trail, along with a much-anticipated primetime ABC interview that prominent Democrats called "sad" and "chilling."

Perhaps most significantly of all, however, more Democratic legislators called for Biden to leave the race -- and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is reportedly organizing a meeting with his peers with a goal of building a united plea for Biden to quit.    

Sen. Mark Warner conferring with then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr in 2018 (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press via New York Times)

According to anonymous sources cited by the Washington Post, Warner and allies are weighing various means of intervening, including a meeting at the White House with Biden. While the count of House Democrats who've urged Biden to quit climbed to four on Friday -- as Illinois Rep. Mike Quiqley made his feelings known on MSNBC -- no sitting senators have yet crossed that line. However, per the Washington Post

There’s a growing consensus among Senate Democrats that the situation with Biden at the top of the ticket is untenable, and senators are trying to determine the best way to relay that message to an insulated president. Some senators don’t think Biden has people around him who are giving him an accurate picture of the fallout. 

Tellingly, a Warner spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny the reports about his machinations, instead saying, "Like many other people in Washington and across the country, Senator Warner believes these are critical days for the president's campaign, and he has made that clear to the White House.”

While Warner -- the chair of the Senate intelligence committee -- maneuvered on Capitol Hill, Biden spent the day in the battleground state of Wisconsin, which he officially won in the last election by only 20,682 votes. At a rally at a middle school gymnasium in Madison, Biden added to his ever-growing stack of gaffes, confidently predicting he'd beat Donald Trump "again in 2020": 

Proving again that not even a teleprompter can assure Biden's reasonably error-free delivery of a speech, he also said, "We're gonna protect our children from getting weapons of war off our streets!"   

Friday's main event was Biden's sit-down interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. Though it was pre-recorded after his middle-school-gym rally before airing in a primetime special, ABC said it showed the entire interview without edits.

As we'd predicted, Stephanopoulos, who's demonstrated all the worst tendencies of big-media leftists, played this interview relatively straight. He challenged Biden's previous attempt to blame his debate performance on jet lag from travel that ended a dozen days before the event. He confronted Biden with pointed quotes from a New York Times report, where sources claimed his mental lapses have become more frequent. He also asked pointed follow-up questions when Biden was evasive.

At one point, however, Stephanopoulos sounded like an empathetic family member gently confronting an elderly person with the hard truth about their condition, telling Biden: 

"I’ve heard from dozens of your supporters over the last few days...They love you, and they will be forever grateful to you for defeating Donald Trump in 2020. They think you’ve done a great job as president, a lot of the successes you outlined. But they are worried about you and the country. And they don’t think you can win. They want you to go with grace, and they will cheer you if you do."

One of Biden's worst moments of the interview came in response to what may have been the simplest question. Asked if he'd watched the debate afterwards, Biden said, "I don't think I did, no." Stephanopoulos's follow-up question about when Biden realized the debate wasn't going well triggered a particularly incoherent reply: 

“The whole way I prepared, nobody’s fault mine. Nobody’s fault, mine. I, uh, prepared what I usually would do, sitting down as I did, come back with foreign leaders or National Security Council for explicit detail.

And I realized about partway through that, you know, I quoted The New York Times had me down 10 points before the debate, 9 now or whatever the hell it is. The fact of the matter is that what I looked at is that he also lied 28 times. I couldn’t, I mean, the way the debate ran, not — my fault, no one else’s fault — no one else’s fault.”

Biden repeatedly rejected any possibility of his dropping out of the 2024 contest, and assured Stephanopoulos that Congressional leaders like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Hakeem Jeffries will not call on him to quit. He suggested it would take divine intervention: "If the Lord Almighty came down and said, 'Joe, get out of the race,' I’d get out of the race. The Lord Almighty’s not coming down."  

Biden also insisted that, contrary to a wide variety of polls showing Trump is ahead, the race is actually a tight one. Stephanopoulos persisted in painting a dim picture of his prospects, but also threw Biden a memory lifeline:  

When Stephanopoulos pressed him to commit to taking a "full neurological and cognitive evaluation," Biden, pointing to his presidential duties, replied, "Look. I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world."

"The fact is, that may be true, but 75% of the American people think...he fails," countered former Biden adviser David Axelrod in a post-interview appearance on CNN. He also said he found some of the interview "sad."  

Biden's Democratic detractors seized on one of his answers in particular. Stephanopoulos asked Biden how he would feel if, against so many demands for him to quit, he stayed in the race and then lost to Trump. Biden replied, “I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all, and I did the goodest [sic] job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about.” 

Former Obama Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro called that line "the most chilling" of the interview. "That's not good enough for the American people...What people want is to have confidence that whoever Democrats put up can win this election...The overwhelming impression that I got from this is you have a president that's basically in denial...about the decline people can clearly see."   

As for the funniest moment of the interview, our vote goes to when Biden cited his modest  crowd at the middle school gymnasium -- estimated in the hundreds -- as a sign of his campaign's strength. He then asked who else could draw a crowd like that. Stephanopoulos couldn't help but answer what was meant to be a rhetorical question: 

ABC's after-interview panel discussion among the outlet's talking heads had a decidedly grim tone, starting with Jonathan Karl:

"There was nothing in this interview that is calming nerves of jittery Democrats who fear that Joe Biden is on a trajectory to lose this Donald Trump. In fact, for some of those people, the interview is raising new concerns. Particularly the fact that he is unwilling or unaware of the fact that he is in a dire situation...that he is losing." 

The network's Martha Raddatz said administration officials tell her Biden is listening most to a "tight inner circle" that's "telling him he can win, that he needs to keep going. This, of course, includes his wife, Jill, who is lashing out at those who want him to get out of the race." 

On the other side of the tug of war, current and former elected officials aren't the only ones with high potential to steer Biden toward the exit: Major Democratic donors' faith is also crumbling. "Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to beat Trump and keep us safe and prosperous," Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, who's given $20 million to Democrats in recent years, said in an email to the Times

"We had been talking to [Biden's] team about doing a fundraiser, but I cooled off on it," an anonymous Arizona donor told ABC News. "I struggled to get other people involved. People were not bullish on Biden. Now, it is a 'hell no'."

Speaking of bullishness...