Virginia Democrats rallying back around Biden following week of debate fallout

Virginia Democrats rallying back around Biden following week of debate fallout

President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One at Philadelphia International Airport after attending a church service at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, Sunday, July 7, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By Michael O'Connor

July 9, 2024

“Now is the time for conversations about the strongest path forward.”

Many Virginia Democrats are rallying around President Joe Biden, who is facing fading calls to step aside as the party’s presidential nominee, with one notable exception. 

Sen. Tim Kaine said on Monday he would “completely respect” Biden’s decision and support the president if he stays in the race, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia’s other US Senator, Mark Warner, has taken a more muted approach to Biden’s status as the Democratic presidential nominee after a damaging debate performance with former President Trump on June 27. 

READ MORE: Trump’s debate lies extend to Virginia as well

Last week, The Washington Post reported that Warner was working to assemble a group of Democratic senators to ask Biden to exit the presidential race but a meeting between the senators and Biden reportedly did not take place. Warner’s office didn’t comment on the story, but yesterday Warner released a statement saying, “now is the time for conversations about the strongest path forward.” 

“I believe it is incumbent upon the President to more aggressively make his case to the American people, and to hear directly from a broader group of voices about how to best prevent Trump’s lawlessness from returning to the White House,” Warner said. 

State leaders rally in support of Biden

At the state level, all 32 members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement yesterday in support of President Biden. 

“The choice is between two visions,” the statement read. “A second Trump presidency would set us back a generation. We have full faith that a second Biden presidency would keep us moving forward.”

State Sen. L. Louise Lucas said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I’m riding with Biden, just like every other damn Democrat I’ve talked to.” 

Biden committed to staying in

Faced with calls to step down as the party’s nominee, Biden remains committed to staying in the race. 

In a July 8 letter to Congressional Democrats, Biden acknowledged the concerns being raised about his candidacy after his debate with Trump but believed he was the best person to beat the former president and had a duty to the voters who nominated him. 

“Despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump,” Biden said. 

  • Michael O'Connor

    Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering Virginia news since 2013 with reporting stints at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Business, and Richmond BizSense. A graduate of William & Mary and Northern Virginia Community College, he also covered financial news for S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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