President Joe Biden may have to convince some of his own White House officials that he’s still their best hope of defeating former President Donald Trump.

According to The New York Times, some unnamed longtime aides and advisors to Biden have become convinced that the president will drop out of the 2024 race. The Times also reported that some advisors are trying to devise ways to convince the president that he should step aside.

The White House strongly denied the report.

“Unequivocally, this is not true,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told The Times, a statement he reiterated to Business Insider. “President Biden’s team is strongly behind him.”

Biden has repeatedly said that he is staying in the race.

The president has tried to face down an uproar within the Democratic Party since his disastrous debate performance. Earlier this week, it looked like the White House had successfully frozen most of Capitol Hill not to pressure the president.

But on Wednesday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that Biden had not made a final decision to stay in the race despite days of repeated statements to the contrary. Since then, more House Democrats have called on Biden to drop out. On Wednesday evening, Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont became the first Democrat in the chamber to join the chorus, saying Biden should step aside.

Not long before The Times published its story, NBC News reported that three unnamed campaign officials told the outlet that Biden has no chance of beating Trump.

“He needs to drop out,” one Biden campaign official told NBC. “He will never recover from this.”

Biden is set to speak to White House reporters at length Thursday night in his first extensive news conference in months. Multiple Democrats have encouraged the president to hold more unscripted events and to campaign more extensively to help convince them that he’s up to the task of slogging through a reelection battle.

The president’s reelection campaign sought to tamp down on the outcry, arguing that while Biden’s support had slipped since the debate, the race is still very much winnable.

“There is a long way to go between now and Election Day with considerable uncertainty and polls in July should not be overestimated, but the data shows we have a clear path to win,” Biden’s campaign campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon and campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez wrote in a memo on Thursday to staffers. “As we’ve always said, in today’s fragmented media environment, it will take time for our message to break through with trusted messengers and a strong ground game. That remains the case.”

The campaign memo, first reported by The Associated Press and later obtained by BI, said that Biden still had “multiple” paths to 270 Electoral Votes while emphasizing that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan “remain critical to victory.”

If Biden loses Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona, which polls show he might, he would need to run the table in the old so-called “Blue Wall” states and hold onto the Omaha-area Nebraska 2nd Congressional District to win.



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