Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Black lawmakers are a key line of defense for Biden as he fights to save his campaign

By 37ci3 Jul8,2024

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is counting on an important political firewall to help stave off Democratic defections and save his re-election campaign: leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The party’s nominee, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Stephen Horsford, D-Nev., reaffirmed his support for Biden after a disastrous debate performance against former President Donald Trump on Monday, after a wave of congressional Democrats called for the president to step aside. Trump last month. Given that Horsford faces a competitive race this fall, his public support is significant.

“President Joe Biden is the candidate and has been elected by millions of voters across the country, including voters in Nevada,” Horsford said. This is stated in the information spread on the social networkadded that Nevadans “care about a thriving and fair economy, taking on big corporations to cut costs, and protecting our hard-won freedoms, rights and opportunities.”

“They know that President Biden and Vice President Harris are fighting for them. Like me, they don’t want to see Donald Trump back in the White House, and they’re willing to work and VOTE to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Horsford continued. “We don’t go back, we go forward”

Biden will also hold a meeting with CBC on Monday night, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Black voters have been key to Biden’s coalition. In the 2020 Democratic primary, black voters in South Carolina revitalized his campaign and put him on the path to the presidency. In addition to electing the first Black female vice president, he also nominated the first Black woman to be a Supreme Court justice. Now, retaining the support of black lawmakers may once again be the key to the president’s political future.

Four top Democrats during a private call Sunday between Democratic committee leaders He called on Biden to withdraw from the raceand several other pollsters have expressed concern about his ability to defeat Trump in November.

But on the same call, two former CBC chairs — Reps. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, both California Democrats — “forcefully” defended Biden, according to two sources familiar with the comments.

Additionally, another CBC member not on Sunday’s call, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., released a statement supporting Biden and calling out his critics, saying, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris defeated Donald Trump in 2020 and they it is the Democratic ticket that will do it again this year. “Any ‘leader’ calling for President Biden to step down needs to get their priorities straight and stop undermining this incredible de facto leader who is delivering real results for our country.”

“What Democrats need to do is stop listening to these political pundits and focus on what’s at stake in this election: our democracy,” Wilson said. “End of story. I stand with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and so should all Americans.”

The CBC is standing behind Biden, two sources said, although there are “small fissures” in the powerful group, including not all CBC members publicly declaring their support for Biden.

“Most members of the Black Caucus in Congress are institutionalists,” a senior aide to a CBC member told NBC News.

“It’s hard to imagine many of them opposing the current president, who has passed a lot of legislation to benefit the Black community and is associated with President Obama.”

“They’ve all doubled down,” said former Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., who was a member of the CBC while in Congress and now co-chairs the Biden campaign. “Crack periods do not bother them. They have been through turbulent times and they know that you have muscles on this road.

The Biden campaign did not immediately comment for this story.

CBC members also resisted criticism of aging politicians and generally favored a seniority system that rewards the Democrats’ longest-serving members with coveted committee slots. Black lawmakers currently serve as the top Democrats on five House committees.

Black voters were credited with revitalizing Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, when Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, one of Washington’s most powerful black leaders, endorsed him and rallied ahead of the South Carolina primary, rallying the Black community behind him. . Biden would go on to win a crowded Democratic primary that year and later oust Trump from the White House.

But Clyburn has not fully supported Biden in recent days. After Biden stumbled in the June 27 debate, Clyburn said on MSNBC If Biden steps aside, the former CBC member said he would strongly support Harris. He also appeared on CNN and suggested the party could hold a “mini primary” ahead of next month’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Although House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said after the debate that Biden should stay in the race, the highest-ranking black lawmaker has spent the past week soliciting input from party leaders and rank-and-file members. The House of Representatives returns to Washington on Monday.

Seeking to drum up support from the black community and dispel criticism that he is unfit for the job, Biden called for two Black radio shows last week in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. But he became president got involved in another argument when two radio hosts confirmed that Biden campaign aides had given him questions to ask in advance.

Still, it’s notable that there are no black lawmakers among the five House Democrats who have publicly called on Biden to step aside — Reps. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Mike Quigley of Illinois and Angie. Craig from Minnesota.

No black lawmakers are among the four Democratic committee leaders who called on Biden to drop out on Sunday’s call — Reps. Jerry Nadler of New York, Adam Smith of Washington, Mark Takano of California and Joe Morelle of New York.

“The president has done a great job. I think the only reason we’re having this conversation is because of one terrible argument. He was that. He had a terrible debate,” Rep. Greg Meeks of New York, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee who attended Sunday’s call, said during an appearance on MSNBC on Monday.

CBC’s Meeks said he hasn’t spoken to Biden since the debate, but spent time with him last month in Normandy, France, and heard he gave a “wonderful speech.”

“The president has led, he continues to lead, and the leadership he’s provided has brought the world, the democratic world, closer together to make us all safer together than we would be if we were doing it alone,” Meeks continued. “This is what the authoritarians hope – we will be divided. Joe Biden’s leadership prevented this.”

A House Democrat and a key ally said Monday they believe Biden can weather the storm — especially with the strong support of the CBC and the support of other influential Democrats, such as Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.

“People underestimate the strong support for the president from senior members of the caucus, like Richie Neal and many of the most respected members of the CBC,” said a Biden ally.

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By 37ci3

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