New York Times editorial board urges Biden to drop out of presidential race

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U.S. President Joe Biden pauses during the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN Studios on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. President Biden and Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump are facing off in the first presidential debate of the 2024 campaign.

Justin Sullivan | Afp | Getty Images

The New York Times editorial board on Friday urged President Joe Biden to exit the presidential election contest against Donald Trump, citing the Democrat’s poor debate performance the previous night.

“The president appeared on Thursday night as the shadow of a great public servant,” the Times editorial said. “He struggled to explain what he would accomplish in a second term. He struggled to respond to Mr. Trump’s provocations. He struggled to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his lies, his failures and his chilling plans. More than once, he struggled to make it to the end of a sentence.”

“Mr. Biden has said that he is the candidate with the best chance of taking on this threat of tyranny and defeating it. His argument rests largely on the fact that he beat Mr. Trump in 2020,” it said. “That is no longer a sufficient rationale for why Mr. Biden should be the Democratic nominee this year.”

The stunning editorial came a day after Biden gave a blundering performance in his first debate against Trump in the 2024 White House race.

”It should be remembered that Mr. Biden challenged Mr. Trump to this verbal duel,” the editorial said. “He set the rules, and he insisted on a date months earlier than any previous general election debate. He understood that he needed to address longstanding public concerns about his mental acuity and that he needed to do so as soon as possible.”

“The truth Mr. Biden needs to confront now is that he failed his own test.”

The editorial comes as a number of Democrats and fundraisers consider pushing for Biden to step aside in the contest.

The Times editorial board for decades has been the leading liberal newspaper editorial voice in the United States.

But in recent years, the paper’s news section has been criticized by some liberals for its coverage of Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, and Biden.

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Biden, for his part, showed no indication he was considering exiting the race Friday.

While nodding at his problematic debate performance, Biden doubled down on criticism of Trump in a speech on North Carolina and in social media posts on X.

“I don’t walk as easily as I used to. I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to,” Biden said at a campaign event on Friday. “But I know what I do know: I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong, and I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done.”

“I give you my word as a Biden I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job, because quite frankly, the stakes are too high.”

Replacing the Democratic nominee for president at this point in the election cycle would not just be politically risky for the party, it would also be very difficult. The only likely way to replace Biden would be for him to willingly drop out of the race.

Responding to the Times editorial, a Biden campaign aide told NBC, “The last time Joe Biden lost the New York Times editorial board’s endorsement it turned out pretty well for him.”

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