He’s ‘Running Against a Criminal, It Should Not Be Close.’ Dems Express Doubts About Biden

Democrats called on President Joe Biden to restore voters’ faith in him — and fast. Rep. Adam Schiff said that the debate last month “rightfully raised questions among the American people about whether the president has the vigor to defeat Donald Trump” and expressed concern that the race appears to be close, while Sen. Chris Murphy said “clock is ticking” for Biden to recover from his dismal debate performance.

“Given Joe Biden’s incredible record, given Donald Trump’s terrible record, he should be mopping the floor with Donald Trump,” said Schiff, who is campaigning for senate in California. “It should not be even close. And there’s only one reason it is close, and that’s the president’s age.”

The Democrat, in an interview with NBC’s Kristen Welker on Meet the Press, urged the president to consult with people outside his inner circle to obtain “some distance and objectivity.”

“He should take a moment to make the best informed judgment, and if the judgment is run, then run hard and beat that SOB,” he said.

Schiff also said that Vice President Kamala Harris would be a “phenomenal” president and could win the election “overwhelmingly.” But, he added, “Before we get into a decision about who else it should be, the president needs to make a decision whether it’s him.”

Murphy on Sunday emphasized that the “clock is ticking” for Biden to regain voters’ faith in his ability to beat Trump. “I’m going to vote for Joe Biden, but the president needs millions of votes,” the Democratic senator from Connecticut told anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union. “I think the president needs to make some moves this week to put himself out there in a position to answer those questions. And if he can’t do that, then of course, he’s going to have to make a decision about what’s best for the country and what’s best for the party.”

Murphy added, “I’m not advising this campaign, but if I were, I would probably suggest that the president get out there and do a town hall, that he do a press conference, that he show the country that he is still the old Joe Biden, one of the best retail politicians this country has ever seen.”

Biden, who has said that only the “Lord Almighty” could convince him to drop out of the race, heads to two campaign events on Sunday in Pennsylvania. Despite Biden’s poor debate showing that sent the party leadership into panic, the president has gained supporters in key battleground states in recent weeks, according to a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult tracking poll released Saturday. Biden is now leading Trump in Michigan and Wisconsin, and he is within the margin of error in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and North Carolina, although he trails in Pennsylvania.

“You think I’m too old to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land? You think I’m too old to ban assault weapons again? To protect social security and Medicare?” Biden said in a speech on Saturday. “You think I’m too old to beat Donald Trump? I can hardly wait.”

More from Rolling Stone

Best of Rolling Stone