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Biden faces press in effort to quell age concerns

US President Joe Biden will try to contain growing opposition within his own party to his re-election bid on Thursday (11), sending aides to meet with Democratic senators and holding his first solo press conference in nearly eight months.

Biden’s campaign has been in a tough spot for two weeks, since the 81-year-old president’s poor performance in a debate against Republican rival Donald Trump raised new concerns about his age and mental acuity — which voters have long questioned in opinion polls.

Last week, Democratic lawmakers began calling for Biden to drop his candidacy, citing concerns that he could not only lose the White House but also cost the party control of Congress.

On Wednesday (10), Peter Welch became the first Democratic senator to call on Biden to step aside, joining at least nine Democratic lawmakers who have called on the president to abandon the race.

Welch, a first-term senator from Vermont, said Biden should end his candidacy “for the good of the country.”

Several lawmakers have said Biden should stay in the race, and many others, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have declined to say definitively what he should do.

They will all be watching closely at 6:30 p.m. ET when Biden takes questions from the White House press corps.

In his first solo news conference since November 2023, Biden will have to speak on a wide range of topics — including likely questions about whether his doctors have found evidence of mental decline.

A White House official said the format was expected to be similar to that of Biden’s last news conference, when the president called on four reporters who asked about topics ranging from defending Taiwan to the deaths in Gaza and then answered a series of questions shouted at him.

Biden may call on a few more reporters this time, according to a person briefed on the matter.

This will be Biden’s biggest outing since the June 27 debate. An interview with ABC News last week raised further alarm when Biden said he would be happy if he lost the election, as long as he did his best.

Ahead of the press conference, several Biden aides will meet with Democratic senators over lunch in an attempt to shore up support in the state where he served from 1973 to 2009.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released last week showed Biden and Trump tied in the race at 40 percent each. Other opinion polls have shown Trump widening his lead over Biden.

Source: CNN Brasil

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