Democratic megadonors discussed holding an intervention to convince President Joe Biden to step down as the party’s nominee after Thursday night’s poor debate performance, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Many have criticized Biden’s performance at the first presidential debate against former President Donald Trump as poor, with the president appearing to freeze at several points, was often hard to understand and made multiple verbal gaffes. Following the dismal performance, some major Democratic donors spoke of setting up an intervention for the president to convince him to step down from the race, while others hoped Biden would decide to exit on his own after seeing the widespread negative reaction, according to the NYT.

“He deserves the opportunity to reflect and say: ‘I still think I can do this. I still think I am the best choice,’” Democratic donor and friend of the president, Stephen Cozen, told the NYT about what he said to other donors calling for an intervention. “That’s his decision. And I will stick with him until he makes it.”

Ron Conway and Laurene Powell Jobs, members of a group of Silicon Valley megadonors, were racing to talk to other donors about what they described as a “possible catastrophe” after the debate, according to the NYT. A possible solution the donors came up with was finding a way to contact First Lady Jill Biden to convince the president to step down from the ticket.

 

One of those Silicon Valley donors canceled plans to host a fundraiser featuring Biden later this summer, according to the NYT. Despite the concern of losing momentum in receiving donations, the Biden campaign claimed that they had raised $14 million from online sources following the debate into Friday morning.

Biden’s campaign has been struggling to fundraise at the same rate as the Trump campaign over the past few months, despite starting with a $100 million advantage, according to the NYT. The Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee had $212 million at the start of June, while the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee had $235 million.

Among the donors critical of the president following the debate, there was talk about which figure could possibly convince the president to step aside, such as former President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer, according to the NYT. The donors also speculated who could possibly replace the president as the nominee, with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and California Gov. Gavin Newsom among the options.

Despite being a front-runner as a possible replacement for Biden, Newsom has made repeated statements expressing his support for the president and pledging not to run in the 2024 presidential election.

Biden’s mental acuity has long been questioned by opponents, due in part to being the oldest president in American history, with a second term taking him well into his 80s. Several prominent Democrats who previously defended Biden’s mental acuity were notably quiet following the debate after seeing the president’s performance.

An investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents by special counsel Robert Hur concluded that the president shouldn’t be charged because he appeared as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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