Defiant Biden declares he's 'staying in the race' ahead of pivotal interview

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President Biden on Friday declared he is “staying in the race” ahead of what is seen as a pivotal primetime interview after a presidential debate performance last week that has sparked calls from some Democrats for him to step aside.

Biden, in a speech in Madison, Wisconsin, referenced the debate in which he struggled and appeared to lose his train of thought multiple times. It has fueled questions about his mental acuity and led to calls for him to be replaced on the 2024 Democratic ticket.

Biden said he couldn’t say “it’s my best performance” and acknowledged there had been questions since then. 


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President Biden speaks at a campaign rally at Sherman Middle School in Madison, Wis., Friday, July 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“There’s been a lot of speculation: What’s Joe going to do? Is he going to stay in the race? Is he going to drop out? What’s he going to do?” Biden told the crowd. “Well, here’s my answer: I am running and going to win again.”

He later said some people are trying to “push” him out of the race.

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: I’m staying in the race,” Biden said.

He then appeared to stumble again, saying he would beat Trump in 2020, although he added that he’s going to beat him again in 2024.


 “I’ll beat Donald Trump. I will beat him again in 2020. By the way, we’re going to do it again in 2024,” he said.

The remarks came hours before the airing of a primetime Friday night interview on ABC News. The interview, being conducted by anchor George Stephanopoulos, will be airing at 8 p.m. ET, and the network vowed “a transcript of the unedited interview will be made available the same day.”

According to a press release, the first clip will air on Friday’s “World News Tonight,” and the full interview will be aired again on Sunday’s installment of “This Week.” 

A growing number of Democrats and liberal media figures have called for Biden to step aside, although others have backed him. Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey urged Biden on Friday to “listen to the American people and carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump.”


This week, three House Democrats publicly called on Biden to step aside from his re-election bid, while more than a dozen Democratic members of Congress and governors publicly raised serious concerns about whether Biden could continue as the party’s standard-bearer.

However, the White House and the Biden campaign have repeatedly dismissed questions about his health.

“Does President Biden, at 81 years old, have Alzheimer’s, any form of dementia or degenerative illness that cause these sorts of lapses? And it’s a yes or no question,” a reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Tuesday afternoon.

“Are you ready for it? It’s a no. And I hope you’re asking the other guy the same exact question,” Jean-Pierre responded, referring to former President Trump.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Brian Flood contributed to this report.

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