Trump says Biden ‘will be the nominee’ amid Democrats’ concerns over debate performance 

Former President Donald J. Trump (left) and President Joe Biden during the presidential debate in Atlanta on June 27, 2024. Photo by Madalina Vasiliu. 
Former President Donald J. Trump (left) and President Joe Biden during the presidential debate in Atlanta on June 27, 2024. Photo by Madalina Vasiliu. 

By Jack Phillips 
Contributing Writer 

Former President Donald Trump responded to rampant speculation that President Joe Biden will be replaced or step down after Thursday’s debate performance. 

Speaking to Fox News on Friday morning, the former president was asked whether he believes the incumbent president will be the Democrat Party’s nominee after the debate. 

“Yes, I think he will be the nominee,” Trump said. 

When he was asked about speculation that President Biden could be replaced as the nominee, he said that he doesn’t believe that will happen. He also indicated that he believed he would have defeated anyone who was on the stage with him on Thursday evening. 

Another candidate “wouldn’t have done any better. No one else would have been better,” Trump said. 

Immediately after the debate, some current and former Democrat officials, as well as pundits for CNN, NBC, the New York Times, and other outlets, expressed alarm over Biden’s performance. Some, like the New York Times’ Thomas Freidman, even suggested that the president should step down and allow someone else to take his place, although current Democrat Party nominating rules would make that prospect extremely difficult to accomplish. 

Points of concern that were raised in the media included Biden’s voice volume, rambling answers to questions, and misplaced word choices. 

“I’m not the only one whose heart is breaking right now. There’s a lot of people who watched this tonight and felt terribly for Joe Biden,” former Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said during an MSNBC segment. “I don’t know if things can be done to fix this.” 

After the debate, Biden told reporters at a Waffle House in Atlanta that “I think we did well” and said he “was suffering from an illness. I am sick.” 

His campaign and several Democrat Party officials — including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pennsylvania, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York — have signaled to reporters that the president doesn’t need to be replaced and suggested that those claims are an overreaction. 

A Biden campaign co-chair, Mitch Landrieu, told CNN after the debate that it’s unlikely Biden will be replaced or step down, although he conceded that the president’s performance was sub-par. 

“I don’t think that you can call the debate a great time for President Biden,” Landrieu told the network on Friday morning. “I think he had a rough time — there’s no question about it.” 

He added: “As the dust clears on this thing, this campaign has still got four months to go, and I think that Joe Biden is going to be the nominee.” 

Thursday’s debate occurred prior to either candidate being formally nominated by their respective parties. The Republican National Convention is slated to be held on July 15, while the Democratic National Convention will convene on Aug. 19. 

The next debate is scheduled for Sept. 10, or about two months before the November election, with ABC News hosting the event. 

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