House Democrat defends Biden: ‘Governance is the biggest part of the job’

Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) said Sunday he’s confident that Democrats should stick with President Biden as their candidate, pointing to the importance of governing, not just campaigning, to serving in the White House.

“I do,” Ivey said on NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday with Chris Stirewalt” when asked if he’s confident Democrats should stick with Biden.

When asked for his message to voters who had doubts after seeing Biden’s debate performance Thursday night, Ivey said, “I’d say keep watching.”

“And think back on what you’ve seen over the past four years, as far as his performance. I think he’s been fine and, you know, frequently great. I thought the State of the Union, he was outstanding, and he looked great on Friday in North Carolina as well,” he continued.

Ivey suggested that debate performance is too heavily weighted when it comes to picking the country’s leader.

“Governance is the biggest part of the job, not just the performance or theater part. And I think he’s done a great job there, too,” he continued, mentioning Biden’s role in bringing NATO countries together to unite behind Ukraine and Biden’s positioning on abortion access.

“I really think abortion is a big issue that the public is going to focus on. The president was lying about everybody wanting to get rid of Roe,” Ivey said, referring to Trump. “It’s clear in state after state and election after election that actually people want Roe back. And I think we have to draw that difference. Actually, the president did a good job of that on Thursday night.”

His comments come amid heightened concerns among some in the Democratic party about keeping Biden at the top of the ticket going into the 2024 general election, after the Thursday debate. Since then, Biden and his surrogates have been campaigning, trying to quash any worries among voters about Biden’s ability to perform.

On the debate and the following few days, Ivey acknowledged Biden had a “tough night” on Thursday but said, “I feel good about where we’re going, at this point.”

“You know, obviously, the president had a tough night on Thursday, but I thought he bounced back great on Friday with the rally in North Carolina. And he looked like the person that I’ve been seeing in the State of the Union and when he did one of the big campaign speeches in Philadelphia that I had a chance to attend. So, I feel okay about where all of that stuff is,” he said.

Ivey said Democrats should focus on getting “back on track with the outreach to the voters to explain the great things he’s done with respect to the economy,” and said specifically Democrats should explain the ways in which Biden’s policy achievements might affect voters’ lives.

“Inflation was up, but it’s been coming down. We got all-time lows for unemployment,” he continued. “There’s a great story to tell. The key is … we just can’t focus only on macro terms, we have to explain to individuals what the personal benefits have been to them, and make it clear in that respect.

NewsNation is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.