Carl Bernstein: Schumer frustrated with Biden 'situation’

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Renowned journalist Carl Bernstein said on Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is frustrated with the way President Biden and his team have approached discussions about his standing in the race.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360,” Bernstein described his recent reporting about the unique position Schumer finds himself in, as he faces pressure to respond to growing concerns about Biden’s ability to defeat Trump in November.

“To say that he’s frustrated with Biden might oversimplify things. He’s frustrated with the whole situation — especially the way the White House, the way Biden, the way the first family has dug in and has said that there’s no more discussion of this,” Bernstein said, referring to talks about whether Biden will remain the party’s nominee.

“That’s the frustration,” he said.

Bernstein said Schumer is facing pressure from “every quarter” of the party to respond to concerns about Biden and to “do something” to make sure “there is an orderly process, in which the best candidate, who could best defeat and face Donald Trump, becomes the nominee.”

“And there’s grave doubt that that person is Joe Biden,” Bernstein continued. “Grave doubt among senators of the Democratic Party, grave doubt among members of the House of the Democratic Party, among donors.”

It’s not clear whether Schumer harbors any personal doubts about Biden, Bernstein said.

“But he’s frustrated, and he’s feeling the anger,” Bernstein continued, from members of the party who feel “everybody is left a little hanging here, except for Joe Biden, who says, ‘I’m the nominee, I’m running,’ and at the same time, it is the greatest secret in the world that has been unsecretized, that there is huge movement against Joe Biden running in the party right now.”

Bernstein said Schumer’s solution, thought up this past weekend, was to convene a meeting either Wednesday or Thursday of this week “of three or four people who love Joe Biden, in the Senate, in the House, among his friends” to “not ambush him, but have a full discussion with Biden, maybe including Nancy Pelosi, about the repercussions of his decision that he is running and case closed.”

“He still wants to do that, Schumer does, and is intent on having such a discussion,” Bernstein said.

Axios reported on Wednesday that Schumer “is privately signaling to donors that he’s open to a Democratic presidential ticket that isn’t led” by Biden.

In response, Schumer did not deny the Axios report but said, according to Axios, “As I have made clear repeatedly publicly and privately, I support President Biden and remain committed to ensuring Donald Trump is defeated in November.”

The Hill has reached out to Schumer’s office for a response.

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