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Joe Biden's defiant five-word statement to critics over the future of his presidency

Joe Biden has been forced to face up to critics who have urged him to drop out of the presidential race over fears for his ailing health. The 81-year-old insisted: “I am not going anywhere” as he dared rivals for the Democratic leadership to take him on.

His furious fightback comes after his disastrous debate with Donald Trump last month that triggered calls from within his own party to step aside amid concerns about his mental fitness.

The President struggled throughout the face-off, frequently fumbling his messaging, at one point prompting Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, to claim he couldn’t understand what his opponent was saying.

Long-Biden allies including former house speaker Nancy Pelosi were among those questioning whether he is up to four more years in the top job after the debate, with various prominent Democrats now being floated by pundits as potential successors.

But Biden has since told colleagues it’s time to end the speculation about his future.

“I have heard the concerns that people have – their good faith fears and worries about what is at stake in this election. I am not blind to them,” he wrote in his letter to Democrats on Capitol Hill.

But he insisted that “It’s time for it to end”, adding: “I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024.

He continued that despite the speculation in the media and elsewhere, “I am firmly committed to staying in this race.”

Biden also called in live to MSNBC to blast “the elites in the party” who believe “they know so much more” about what the party needs.

He challenged those eyeing to the candidacy to “run against me” when the DNC meets in August to officially name the party’s candidate.

The President already has enough delegates to secure the nomination, but calls have grown from fellow Dems and party donors to let his Vice President Kamala Harris or other rising stars take the mantle.

“I don’t care what those big names think,” he added. “They were wrong in 2020, they were wrong in 2022 about the red wave, they’re wrong in 2024.”

Biden admitted he had “a terrible night” against Trump in Atlanta, but stressed, “I have not had many of those nights,” and that health issues had been to blame for his sub-par showing.

“I was feeling so badly before the debate,” he told the outlet. “They tested me, they thought maybe I had Covid, maybe there was something wrong, an infection or something. They tested me, they gave me those tests. I was clear. So, I had a bad night.”

He pointed to his more energised performances since the debate and said he was in vigorous health and spending more time with voters than Trump.

“I have a neurological test every single day sitting behind his desk and making these decisions,” he said. “You know it, they know it. I’m not bad at what I do.”

But a recent poll suggests worries about Biden’s capacity in Washington are shared by the electorate.

A Reuters/Ipsos survey last week found that one in three registered Democratic voters believes he should leave the race.

However, none of his potential replacements scored any better than him against Trump, 78, the poll found.


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