Biden Defiant: ‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’

The US president shouted at MSNBC’s hosts when they asked if he’d suspend his campaign

US President Joe Biden has vowed to continue his reelection campaign, telling MSNBC that he is “not going anywhere” and that despite widespread concerns about his mental health, he is “the best candidate to beat Donald Trump.”

Speaking to hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Monday, Biden reiterated that he is “firmly committed” to winning a second term in office, and called on “Any of these guys that don’t think I should run” to challenge him at next month’s Democratic National Convention.

Confronted by Brzezinski with a list of liberal news organizations and pundits who have called on him to bow out of the race, Biden claimed that all are part of an “elite” conspiracy to force him out of contention. 

“I don’t care what those big names think,” Biden said. “The American public is not going to move away from me as an average voter,” he declared, his voice rising to a shout. “Remember all this talk about how I don’t have the black support, come on, give me a break! Come with me. Watch! Watch!” 

“I’m more than the presumptive, I’m going to be the Democratic nominee,” he asserted.

While the Democratic Party stood united behind Biden during this year’s largely symbolic primary season, the president’s political future has been thrown into uncertainty following a disastrous debate performance against his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, last month. Biden appeared visibly confused during the CNN-hosted showdown, slurring his words and struggling to finish his sentences.

Democratic donors and liberal pundits have called on Biden to suspend his campaign, with some formerly friendly media outlets demanding that he resign as president. Meanwhile, senior party lawmakers are reportedly preparing to sign letters that he be replaced with a more lucid candidate.

Biden’s comments to MSNBC mirror those he made in a to Democrats in Congress on Monday. On TV and in the letter, Biden insisted that he “wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024.”

However, Biden rambled at times during his phone interview with Scarborough and Brzezinski, and could be heard shuffling papers at one point. Asked whether he had “been tested for any age-related illnesses” including “pre-Parkinson’s,” Biden repeated his previous assertion that he had “a cold” or “maybe an infection or something” on the night of the debate.

A survey conducted by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of the debate found that 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.” A subsequent Reuters/Ipsos poll has revealed that one in three Democrats believes that the 81-year-old should not seek reelection.