Embattled Biden To Give High-Stakes Press Conference

US President Joe Biden will hold his first press conference since his disastrous debate against Donald Trump on Thursday, in a high-stakes event that might decide his reelection campaign.

The world will be watching the 81-year-old during a NATO summit as he seeks to quell rising calls from his Democratic Party to step down over his age and health.

The White House has nicknamed it a “big boy” press conference, and Biden will be under intense pressure to demonstrate his ability to handle what has become a rare unscripted moment during his presidency.

Any blunders by Biden at the 5.30 p.m. (2130 GMT) event at a Washington DC conference center might transform the trickle of Democrats who have pushed him to abandon his 2024 presidential campaign into a flood.

On Wednesday, Hollywood star and supporter George Clooney called on Biden not to run for president, just weeks after hosting a lavish fundraiser for him.

Nancy Pelosi, a party heavyweight and former House speaker, also discreetly twisted the knife by declining to endorse Biden, stating merely that he should make a decision after the NATO conference.

Meanwhile, Vermont’s first Democratic senator, Peter Welch, joined at least eight other House Democrats in publicly pushing the guy who defeated Trump in 2020 not to run again.

However, many Democrats are expected to wait to see if Biden holds his first solo press conference since November 2023, or if the topic will be repeated.

Biden has held fewer press conferences than his predecessors. His recent visits have been combined appearances with foreign leaders, each limited to two questions.

When combined with a lack of interviews, some accuse the White House of concealing the impact of age on America’s oldest president from the public.


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has repeatedly promised that Thursday’s “big boy press conference” — a phrase coined by a journalist and later adopted by her — will include a number of questions.

A poor performance will add gasoline to the fire of questions about Biden’s age and health, which were kindled when he appeared listless and frequently incoherent versus Republican Donald Trump, 78.

NATO members have also sought reassurance about Biden’s leadership abilities, as well as concerns that a return to isolationism by Trump could jeopardize the alliance.

Biden blamed his debate meltdown on a nasty cold and jet lag from two weeks of exhausting international travel.

However, Clooney claimed in a coruscating New York Times story on Wednesday that the indicators were already present at a June 15 event in Los Angeles that he co-hosted with actress Julia Roberts.

“It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010,” wrote actor George Clooney.

“He was hardly even the Joe Biden of 2020. “He was the same man we saw at the debate.”

Clooney predicted that Biden would lose the presidential election, and Democrats would lose both chambers of Congress.

Biden has claimed that he will run in November, and with the Democratic party primaries behind him, there is no meaningful way to force him out.

However, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that several Democratic grandees, including Pelosi, are taking a different approach, appealing to his reasoning side rather than inflaming the stubbornness that has propelled his political career.

Vice President Kamala Harris is widely regarded as the frontrunner to succeed Biden if he steps down, but any move would have to be made before the Democratic convention in Chicago in August.


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