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DNC call left member feeling ‘gaslit’ regarding concerns about Biden’s debate performance

A private call held by the Democratic National Committee on Saturday left at least one member feeling “gaslit” after the discussion failed to address growing concerns about President Joe Biden‘s reelection campaign. DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison and Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez held the call Saturday afternoon with members from across the country. However, […]

A private call held by the Democratic National Committee on Saturday left at least one member feeling “gaslit” after the discussion failed to address growing concerns about President Joe Biden‘s reelection campaign.

DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison and Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez held the call Saturday afternoon with members from across the country. However, the call largely avoided Biden’s weak showing and the criticism that ensued after the debate with Republican candidate Donald Trump last week.

“I was hoping for more of a substantive conversation instead of, ‘Hey, let’s go out there and just be cheerleaders,’ without actually addressing a very serious issue that unfolded on American television for millions of people to see,” said Colorado DNC member Joe Salazar, who was on the call, to the Associated Press.


Salazar continued, “There were a number of things that could have been said in addressing the situation. But we didn’t get that. We were being gaslit.”

President Joe Biden, center right, and first lady Jill Biden, right, arrive on Marine One with granddaughters Natalie Biden, from left, and Finnegan Biden, at East Hampton Airport, Saturday, June 29, 2024, in East Hampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Initial post-debate polls indicated that Trump outperformed Biden, but their favorability ratings remained steady. Harrison downplayed the call’s significance, framing it as a routine discussion about the race and upcoming convention in August.

Despite recent calls from large swaths of Democrats for Biden to step aside for a younger candidate, his close allies, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic Governors Gavin Newsom (CA) and Gretchen Whitmer (MI), continue to support him.

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Meanwhile, a new CBS News/YouGov poll conducted over the weekend showed 72% of registered voters believe Biden “does not” have the mental and cognitive health to serve as president, while 49% said they believed Trump lacked the mental fitness to serve. The survey was based on a national sample of 1,130 registered voters, and the margin of error is plus or minus 4.2 points.

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Despite the debate setbacks, Biden’s campaign is projecting confidence, citing strong supporter enthusiasm and fundraising success. Senior adviser Jen O’Malley Dillon insisted that the debate did not change voter perceptions and predicted any poll changes would be temporary.

While Biden spent Saturday fundraising in the Hamptons, he acknowledged his poor debate performance but criticized the lack of fact-checking on Trump’s claims.

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