Blumenthal ‘deeply concerned’ about Biden winning in November

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Wednesday he was “deeply concerned” about President Biden defeating former President Trump in November, adding the qualifier that he could win if the party unified around him.

“I think that Joe Biden will win this election if the party unifies behind him and he continues to make his case to the American people effectively and vigorously about the contrast between him and President Trump,” Blumenthal said. “I think that he has to continue to be out at townhalls, press conferences, meetings with everyday Americans showing how he is fighting for the American people.”

“I am deeply concerned about Joe Biden winning this November because it is an existential treat to the country if Donald Trump wins,” Blumenthal told reporters. “So I think that we have to reach a conclusion as soon as possible, and I think, Joe Biden, as the Democratic nominee, has my support.”

Blumenthal’s comments come nearly two weeks after Biden’s disastrous debate performance in which he stumbled repeatedly and sounded raspy. His performance immediately raised concerns about his ability to win in November, and he has spent the last two weeks attempting to reassure Democrats that he can beat former President Trump.

The Associated Press reported that Blumenthal told reporters after a Senate Democratic Conference meeting Tuesday that there was “absolute unanimity” in defeating Trump, but he would not say if Biden was the best person to beat Trump.

During that meeting, at least three senators — Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) — said they think Biden will lose to Trump in November.

Bennet later went on CNN with anchor Kaitlan Collins and made public his concerns.

“Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election, and maybe win it by a landslide and take with it the Senate and the House,” Bennet said on CNN. “For me, this isn’t a question about polling. It’s not a question about politics. It’s a moral question about the future of our country, and I think it’s critically important for us to come to grips with what we face if together we put this country on the path of electing Donald Trump again.”

Earlier in the week, Tester released a statement in which he said, “Biden has got to prove to the American people — including me — that he’s up to the job for another four years,” while Brown said that he has “talked to people across Ohio” who “have legitimate questions about whether the president should continue his campaign.”

Blumenthal is among a growing number of senior Democrats who have expressed concerns about Biden’s ability to win the election.

On Tuesday, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the House Armed Services Committee ranking member who chaired it when Democrats were in power, went public with calls for Biden to step down.

Biden has worked to stem the calls from Congress, sending a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday saying that he would not drop out. He also went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to slam “elites” in the party calling him to step down.

On Tuesday, both the House and Senate Democratic caucuses met, and many House Democrats came out in favor of Biden remaining the nominee.

Later that day, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (N.J.), a moderate House Democrat who flipped a Republican seat in 2018 and is viewed as a future contender of statewide office, also joined calls for Biden to step down. On Wednesday, Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) also called on Biden to stand down, according to The New York Times.

Smith, Ryan and Sherrill join five other House Democrats who have called for Biden to withdraw. No senators have called for his withdrawal yet.

Earlier on Wednesday, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where she was asked if she supports Biden as the party’s nominee. Pelosi declined to comment, instead deferring to the president.

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” Pelosi said. “We’re all encouraging him to make that decision. Because time is running short.

“But he’s beloved, he is respected, and people want him to make that decision, not me.”

Biden has repeatedly made clear that he will not step down as nominee.

This story was updated at 4:18 p.m.

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