Biden’s family urges him to stay in White House race

Democratic President Joe Biden’s family has urged him to ignore calls to step aside following his disastrous debate against Republican Donald Trump.

He spent Sunday with relatives at a presidential retreat where they encouraged him to keep fighting, according to the BBC’s US partner CBS News.

Anxiety has gripped sections of his party following a rambling and at times incoherent performance in Atlanta.

Polls since then suggest concerns about his age – he is 81 – have increased.

A CBS News/YouGov poll released on Sunday indicated that 72% of registered Democratic voters believe the president does not have the mental and cognitive health to serve as president. Nearly half said he should step aside.

But the message from his campaign team and his family is that he remains the party’s best hope to defeat Trump.

The family gathering at Camp David in Maryland had been previously scheduled as a photoshoot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. Mr Biden’s wife Jill, his children and grandchildren were among those present.

Jill Biden told Vogue magazine in a phone call from Camp David that they “will not let those 90 minutes define the four years he’s been president”.

They would continue fighting, she said, adding that her husband “will always do what’s best for the country”.

The encouragement of the family to stay the course was first reported by the New York Times and later confirmed by CBS News. Some relatives have reportedly blamed his poor performance on over-preparation by his aides. A person close to Jill Biden told CBS she was not among those criticising his team.

Concerns about the age of both candidates – Mr Biden is only three years older than Trump who is 78 – were present before Thursday’s debate.

But Mr Biden’s weak voice and muddled answers renewed concerns about his candidacy and left some calling for him to step aside.



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