New York Times editorial board calls on Biden to drop out of race

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The New York Times editorial board on Friday called on President Biden to abandon his reelection campaign after his widely criticized performance in the first 2024 debate against former president Donald Trump.

The editorial board described Biden as appearing to be “the shadow of a great public servant” in the debate, during which he repeatedly misspoke and struggled to complete answers. His performance led to widespread alarm among many Democrats.

“Mr. Biden has been an admirable president,” said the unsigned opinion, as is typical for pieces representing the editorial board’s judgment collectively. “Under his leadership, the nation has prospered and begun to address a range of long-term challenges, and the wounds ripped open by Mr. Trump have begun to heal. But the greatest public service Mr. Biden can now perform is to announce that he will not continue to run for reelection.”

Biden’s campaign dismissed the editorial, invoking the board’s snub of him in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, which he won.

“The last time Joe Biden lost the New York Times editorial board’s endorsement it turned out pretty well for him,” Biden campaign co-chair Cedric L. Richmond said in a statement.

The editorial board passed over Biden in the 2020 primary to endorse two of his competitors, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.). The editorial board did end up endorsing him in the general election against Trump.

It is not too late for Democrats to replace Biden on the ticket, though it would probably depend on him first agreeing to step aside. He has given no indication publicly that he is thinking about that.

Biden sought to quell concerns about his candidacy during a post-debate rally earlier Friday in North Carolina. Biden, 81, told supporters in Raleigh he knows he is “not a young man, to state the obvious.”

“I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know: I know how to tell the truth,” Biden said. “I know right from wrong. And I know how to do this job.”

A Biden campaign spokesperson, Michael Tyler, also dismissed the idea that the president would consider stepping aside.

“There are no conversations about that whatsoever,” Tyler told reporters on Air Force One. “The Democratic voters … nominated Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s the nominee.”

In its piece on Friday afternoon, The Washington Post’s editorial board wrote that Biden’s debate performance “raises legitimate questions about whether he’s up for another four years in the world’s toughest job” but didn’t explicitly call on him to step aside.

Post columnist David Ignatius, however, wrote Friday that it was “obvious nearly a year ago that President Biden shouldn’t run for a second term.” In September, Ignatius had called on Biden to opt against seeking reelection.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post