Joe Biden to use Nato summit to make case that he is still up to the job

Joe Biden is hosting the Nato summit in Washington (REUTERS)
Joe Biden is hosting the Nato summit in Washington (REUTERS)

Joe Biden will use his role as host of the upcoming Nato summit to prove that he is capable of meeting the demands of the presidency amid concerns over his age.

Heads of state from Europe and North America gathered in Washington on Tuesday for talks that are likely to focus on the war in Ukraine.

It comes as Mr Biden faces growing calls to step aside from fellow Democrats following a disastrous performance against his likely Republican challenger Donald Trump in a debate last month.

Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, Mr Biden suggested that the summit would allow him to show leadership on the international stage.

“Our allies are looking for US leadership,” he said.

“Who else do you think can step in here and do this? I expanded Nato. I solidified Nato. I made sure that we’re in a position where we have a coalition of... nations around the world to deal with China, with Russia, with everything that’s going on in the world. We’re making real progress.”

During his presidency, Mr Biden has sought to restore Washington’s traditional alliances abroad in contrast to his predecessor Mr Trump’s “America First” policy.

Mr Trump has suggested that, in his second term, he would not defend Nato members that failed to meet the alliance’s spending target of two per cent of GDP if they came under attack.

He has also questioned the amount of aid given to Ukraine in its resistance against Russia’s invasion.

Mr Biden is expected to give an opening speech on Tuesday evening that will highlight how Nato has strengthened under his leadership.

The President on Monday called for an “end” to speculation over whether he would step down as Democratic nominee.

In a two-page letter addressed to Democrats, Mr Biden urged the party to focus on defeating Mr Trump in the November election.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it's time for it to end,” he wrote.

“We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump.”

The Democrats will formally announce their 2024 presidential candidate at the party’s national convention in Chicago in August.

Vice President Kamala Harris is seen as the likeliest successor should Mr Biden step aside.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll published last week found that one in three Democrat voters believed that Mr Biden should quit the race, with 59 per cent of respondents in the President's party saying he is too old to work in government.