Biden meeting with Democratic governors, lawmakers amid debate fallout

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President Biden is set to hold meetings with Democratic congressional leaders and governors on Wednesday amid widespread concerns over his debate performance. 

“The president is going to take some time and talk to those members and Democratic governors tomorrow,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday.

When asked by reporters why Biden didn’t call Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) following the debate, Jean-Pierre said the president plans on speaking with them this week. Jean-Pierre also added that senior staff members and the campaign have been in touch with lawmakers “regularly.” 

CNN reported Tuesday that Democratic governors held a call on Monday without Biden. A national Democratic official familiar with the call told The Hill that it was organized by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D), who is chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Additionally, the call only consisted of governors, and the Biden-Harris team was aware it took place. 

“Democratic governors are some of the President and Vice President’s most proactive and vocal supporters because they’ve seen how the Biden-Harris Administration’s accomplishments are directly benefiting their residents,” the official said. “The Biden/Harris team is in constant communication with the governors and their teams, including about yesterday’s meeting.”

Publicly, Democratic governors have put on a united front for Biden, acknowledging that he had a bad debate but emphasizing the importance of choosing him over former President Trump. 

The developments come amid continued fallout from both sides of the aisle after the president’s debate performance. On Tuesday, Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett became the first House Democrat to call on Biden to step down from the Democratic ticket. 

The first postdebate polls have also painted a negative picture for Biden. A CNN poll released Tuesday found that 75 percent of registered voters said that Democrats had a better chance of beating Trump with someone else as their candidate.  

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