Biden's family is telling him to stay in the race even as calls to exit grow

  • Biden's family told him to stay in the race during a gathering at Camp David, the Times reported.

  • The trip was planned long in advance but the purpose shifted after Biden's rough debate.

  • A chorus of influential supporters have called on Biden to step aside since the debate.

After a bad debate performance that forced him to defend his reelection campaign, President Joe Biden's family has encouraged him to remain in the 2024 presidential race, the New York Times reported.

Biden on Sunday gathered with his family at Camp David in what was a pre-planned trip — a chance for the entire family, children and grandchildren included, to take a family photo — and a timely opportunity for a private meeting among the people who are perhaps most influential in Biden's life. His family played a key role in his decision to run in 2020.

For Biden, a onetime US senator and former vice president, the decision to remain the party's standard-bearer in the face of so much opposition is likely one of the most agonizing decisions of his long political life.

The family gathering follows Biden's widely panned debate performance against former President Donald Trump on Thursday. During the debate, Biden struggled with a raspy voice and rambling answers that renewed concerns about his age.

During his exchanges with Biden, Trump sought to paint the president as ineffective both domestically and on the world stage, and in the process made baseless claims regarding immigration and crime rates.

The Times reported that Biden's relatives felt the president could still make the case that he could serve effectively in a second term. Hunter Biden, the president's son, was one of the most vocal advocates of his father remaining in the race, arguing that he wanted voters to see the more polished Biden that he's long known — and not the candidate who struggled to articulate his vision last week.

One of Biden's grandchildren was intrigued by the idea of the family increasing its presence on the campaign trail, according to the Times.

Biden's family members also questioned several members of the president's inner circle about his debate preparation, according to the newspaper, and they shared their opinion that he was inundated with statistics.

In the 72 hours since the debate, a chorus of donors and other supporters have called on Biden to step aside. The New York Times editorial board made the same plea last week.

Outside of a Saturday fundraising event in East Hampton, New York, several voters who support Biden held up signs asking him to exit the race. The weekend was dominated by debates about who could potentially take Biden's place.

In just 90 minutes, Biden's debate performance seems to have sparked the most serious challenge to his presidency yet. Biden's campaign, however, has firmly pushed back and sought to reorient the party's message to one that's focused on the general election. And Biden himself has so far made no indication that he will exit the race.

During a Friday campaign event in the swing state of North Carolina, Biden publicly responded to his debate struggles.

"Folks, I might not walk as easily or talk as smoothly as I used to. I might not debate as well as I used to. But what I do know is how to tell the truth," he told attendees in an address that was infinitely more energized than his debate performance one night earlier.

Read the original article on Business Insider