The New York Times editorial board calls for Biden to drop out of the presidential race

The New York Times editorial board in an editorial piece published Friday urged President Joe Biden to step aside in the 2024 race after his poor debate performance in Atlanta on Thursday night.

“The clearest path for Democrats to defeat a candidate defined by his lies is to deal truthfully with the American public: acknowledge that Mr. Biden can’t continue his race, and create a process to select someone more capable to stand in his place to defeat Mr. Trump in November,” the editorial board wrote.

The opinion piece acknowledged that ending his campaign would “be against all of Mr. Biden’s personal and political instincts” and highlighted that it was Biden himself who challenged former President Donald Trump to the debate.

“The truth Mr. Biden needs to confront now is that he failed his own test,” the board wrote.

The Biden campaign brushed off the decision by the editorial board in a statement Friday.

“The last time Joe Biden lost the New York Times editorial board’s endorsement it turned out pretty well for him,” said campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond, who was previously a White House aide and a congressman from Louisiana.

The paper’s editorial board ultimately backed Biden in the general election in 2020 but had selected Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during the Democratic primaries earlier that year.

At that time, the board had raised concerns about Biden’s age, saying, Biden, then 77, should “pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders.”

The Trump campaign said in response to the editorial board’s decision that Biden is the “incumbent president, he is the Democrat nominee, he has also said he won’t drop out, it’s too late to change that.”

Biden has given no indication that he plans to step aside, but he has the option to withdraw before he is formally nominated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

The editorial board’s piece comes as Democrats have expressed alarm following the president’s debate performance Thursday night, which was punctuated by a raspy voice and rhetorical missteps such as tripping over his words and apparently losing his train of thought.

Biden defended his capacity to serve in a Friday speech infused with energy that had been missing as he debated the night before.

“I know I’m not a young man,” Biden told supporters in Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday afternoon. “I don’t walk as easy as I used to. I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know — I know how to tell the truth!”

Biden, at 81, is the oldest president in American history. His opponent, former President Donald Trump, is the second-oldest person ever to serve as president.

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