Biden camp addresses rumors advisers are hatching plan to push president aside

The White House and the Biden campaign ‘unequivocally’ denied a report claiming a handful of President Biden’s longtime aides are working on a plan to convince the president to drop out of the 2024 presidential race. 

‘Unequivocally, this is not true. President Biden’s team is strongly behind him,’ White House spokesman Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital. 

The New York Times reported Thursday afternoon that a handful of aides and advisers that have long worked with Biden are convinced he will need to bow out of the 2024 race as concerns mount surrounding his health and age, and are working on a plan to convince him to drop out. 

‘A small group of Mr. Biden’s advisers in the administration and the campaign – at least two of whom have told allies that they do not believe he should keep trying to run for a second term – have said they would have to convince the president of several things,’ the report states. 

The report added that the Biden insiders have to convince him to drop out as he ‘remains convinced of the strength of his campaign.’

The Biden campaign also denied the report in a comment to Fox Digital. 

‘Patently false. This team stands with the president,’ campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo told Fox News Digital. 

The New York Times report follows other media outlets claiming other Biden insiders are saying they don’t see a path forward for Biden following his botched debate performance against former President Trump late last month. 

NBC News, for example, reported Thursday: ‘Several of President Joe Biden’s closest allies, including three people who are directly involved in efforts to re-elect him, told NBC News they now see his chances of winning as zero – and the likelihood of him taking down fellow Democratic candidates growing.’

The New York Times also ran a story Thursday claiming the Biden campaign is testing the viability of Vice President Kamala Harris running in place of Biden. 

‘As President Biden faces mounting pressure over the future of his candidacy, his campaign is quietly testing the strength of Vice President Kamala Harris against former President Donald J. Trump in a survey of voters, according to three people informed about the effort,’ the New York Times reported. 

Concerns surrounding Biden’s health and mental fitness are at a fever pitch this summer, as some Democrats call on him to quit the presidential race following his disastrous debate against Trump last month. Biden has bucked calls to drop out, vowing to remain in the race as his campaign and the White House ramp up his number of public events in an apparent effort to quell concerns the president isn’t up for another four-year term in the Oval Office. 

Biden is expected to hold a news conference on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. after hosting NATO leaders in Washington, D.C., this week. The press conference is highly-anticipated, with lawmakers sounding off that the presser will serve as an ‘ultimate test.’ 

‘Just as all of his public appearances go on, it will be very interesting to see him do what they themselves have called a big boy press conference. Look, it’s been the biggest political cover up, probably in the history of the country,’ House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., previously told Fox News Digital when asked about the press conference. ‘I think the more public appearances and speeches he does, the more that will put that on vivid display. And I think there’s a lot to answer.’

The media have dubbed the press conference a ‘big boy press conference,’ with the president fielding questions from the media solo. It marks Biden’s first solo press conference of the year and the first time he will speak to the media at a presser since the debate on June 27, Fox News found.

Since Biden’s disastrous debate performance, Democrats and the media have repeatedly said that if Biden remains in the race, he needs to hold more interviews and press conferences.

‘The only way for him and the campaign to respond is not by talking to senators or governors, because this is not a tell-me situation. It’s a show-me situation,’ Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt., told CNN last Wednesday. ‘So he’d have to be out and about in the hurly-burly of a campaign, open-ended press conferences with folks like you, engagements with voters that are unscripted.’

Biden did sit down for an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopolos that aired on July 5, but the interview did little to quell mounting concerns over the president’s mental acuity and age, most notably when Biden repeatedly dodged whether he would take a cognitive test.

‘Have you had the specific cognitive tests, and have you had a neurologist, a specialist, do an examination?’ Stephanopoulos asked.

‘No, no one said I had to.… They said I’m good,’ Biden responded.

Stephanopoulos pressed Biden a third time on taking a cognitive or neurological test and whether he would release the results of such a test to the public. The president, however, brushed off the question again. 

‘Look, I have a cognitive test every single day,’ Biden said. ‘Every day I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world. Sounds like hyperbole, but we are the central nation in the world.’

Biden did deliver a strong NATO speech on Tuesday, but praise from fellow Democrats was few and far between. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview the following day that Democrats are keeping their thoughts on Biden quiet ‘until we see how we go this week.’

‘Let’s just hold off,’ she said on MSNBC. ‘Whatever you’re thinking, either tell somebody privately, but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week.’

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