Biden says he’s staying in presidential race ‘to the end’ in letter to House Democrats

President Joe Biden defiantly sought to stop the political bleeding Monday, saying he is “not going anywhere” even as support from Democratic lawmakers wavered over his debate debacle.

As Congress returned to Washington, D.C., Biden wrote a letter to House Democrats vowing to stay in the race against former President Donald Trump “to the end.”

“The question of how to move forward has been well aired for well over a week. And it’s time for it to end,” Biden said in the letter. “We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump.”

“I am not not going anywhere,” Biden added in a live call to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show.

Several senior Democratic House lawmakers, including Manhattan Rep. Jerrold Nadler, told colleagues in a weekend virtual meeting that Biden should drop out of the race.

Top Black lawmakers said Biden should stay in the race and Democrats should rally behind him.

House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries has so far remained supportive of Biden, but did not take sides in the virtual meeting. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a fellow Brooklyn Democrat, has taken a similar stance.

An in-person House Democratic caucus meeting was planned for Tuesday where members may hash out their differences over Biden. So far five Democrats have publicly called on Biden to pull the plug on his campaign.

Biden reportedly planned to work the phones vigorously as he seeks to firm up support among wavering Democrats.

He was set to address a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus as he works to shore up his strong support among Black lawmakers and voters.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., one of the most endangered Democratic incumbents, issued a statement that questioned whether he would back Biden staying in the race.

“President Biden has got to prove to the American people — including me — that he’s up to the job for another four years,” Tester said.

Biden did get a vote of confidence from Mayor Eric Adams, who told reporters he was more interested in talking about a new city plan for trash pickup than “talking trash about national politics.

“There’s twists and there’s turns,” Adams said. “I would say to the president and whomever else: Stay focused, no distractions and grind.”

The 81-year-old incumbent shocked voters with a halting and at times incoherent performance at his debate with Trump last month.

He has sought to bounce back with a series of energetic campaign speeches and a one-on-one interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. But the effort has not convinced all his Democratic doubters.

Polls have offered a mixed picture. Some surveys showed Trump opening up a modest lead in the neck-and-neck race after viewers mostly declared him the winner of the debate.

Biden loyalists point to some polls that show Democrats rallying behind Biden amid the calls for him to step aside.

The political calendar leaves little time for Democrats to consider their options.

The Republican National Convention is scheduled for next week and will spotlight GOP unity behind Trump. It will also offer Trump a triumphant platform to further deride Biden as too old to serve in the White House.

Democrats will gather in early August for their own convention, where Biden holds the overwhelming majority of pledged delegates.

If Biden were to pull the plug on his campaign, the most obvious successor would be Vice President Kamala Harris, his top lieutenant and the first Black woman to serve as veep. But others could jump into the race if he drops out.