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Democratic Governor Floated as Biden Replacement Issues Dire Warning

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker warned Joe Biden has to prove himself once more.

J.B. Pritzker is seen in profile
Jamie Kelter Davis/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker urged President Joe Biden to re-pitch himself to Americans following his disastrous performance at a presidential debate.

Pritzker, whose name has been floated as a possible candidate to replace Biden, discussed what he believes the president should do next during an interview Tuesday night on CNN’s The Source with Kaitlan Collins.  

“Three-quarters of voters, U.S. voters, in a new CNN poll say the Democratic Party would have a better shot holding the presidency in 2024 with someone other than President Biden at the top of the ticket. Do you agree with that, or are the voters wrong?” Collins asked. 

Since the debate last Thursday, one Democratic lawmaker has called for Biden to withdraw, while others have indicated their openness to backing another candidate. On Tuesday, a CNN poll found that Biden was polling worse against Trump than other top Democrats, including his own vice president. Those results appear to have lit a fire within the party, which was already scrambling.

“Well, I think that’s why President Biden needs to communicate more,” Pritzker replied. “We haven’t heard a lot from him since the debate, and that’s why the polls look as they do.

“I think that when you come off a bad debate, you need to remind people why you’re the right guy to elect, and I know that Joe Biden will do that over the next couple of weeks, at least I expect him to,” he continued.

“Or he’ll make a different decision, and I think that’s, again, this is a healthy conversation for us all to be having,” Pritzker said, seemingly referring to the decision to withdraw from the race.

“And I think that the president needs to communicate to everybody once again why he’s the right guy,” Pritzker said. 

While Biden’s campaign has trotted him out at events, the president has spoken sparingly about what his lackluster public speaking performance means for his candidacy. Democratic leaders are reportedly extremely frustrated with the lack of communication from Biden’s team in the wake of the debate debacle, and have accused his inner circle of trying to shield him from calls to withdraw. 

It seems that the Democratic governor may already be on track to get the face time with Biden he desires: Pritzker is expected to attend a meeting in Washington, D.C., with the president and other Democratic governors on Wednesday, according to Axios.

Democrats Are So Mad at Biden They Have a Brutal New Nickname for Him

A new report reveals what Democratic lawmakers are privately saying about Joe Biden after that disastrous debate performance.

Joe Biden on the CNN debate stage
Kyle Mazza/Anadolu/Getty Images

Democrats are becoming frustrated with the response from President Joe Biden and his administration after Thursday’s disastrous presidential debate, according to a new report from Axios.

Members of Congress think that Biden has been slow to reach out to party leaders, as well as lawmakers in tough election races. The report even states that some Democrats think Biden’s staff is trying to shield him from people arguing for him to withdraw from the election.

“I don’t know who’s making decisions,” said one House Democrat “Why the hell isn’t Biden on the phone with congressional leadership? ... Everybody now thinks he could cost us the majority.”

The report referred to a Tuesday afternoon meeting of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, where over two dozen Democrats in Congress vented about Biden and his staff. During the Zoom call, one member of Congress called the situation “the elephant in the room,” leading other members to call Biden “the donkey in the room.”

One source on the call said that none of the members present called for Biden to stay in the race, a worrying sign. Other Democrats have voiced their concerns publicly, with Representative Marie Gluesenkamp Perez telling a Washington state TV station, “Biden is going to lose to Trump. I know that’s difficult, but I think the damage has been done by that debate.”

Representative Jared Golden, another Blue Dog Democrat, even wrote in an op-ed column, “While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I’m OK with that.”

Inside the White House, Biden’s staff and aides are reportedly freaking out themselves. A leaked poll shows that Biden is in trouble in states that were previously thought safe. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Biden’s mental condition was a “legitimate concern” on Tuesday, and one of the longest-serving Democrats in the House, Representative Lloyd Doggett, has even called for Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race. How will Democrats find their way out of this crisis?

Conservative Behind Trump Agenda Issues Cryptic Threat to Liberals

The president of the Heritage Foundation, the right-wing think tank behind the “Project 2025” agenda, seems to be warning the left on what comes next.

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts speaking
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, seemed to issue a veiled threat to the American left during an appearance on far-right entertainment network Real America’s Voice on Tuesday.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless—if the left allows it to be,” Roberts said, in front of a backdrop advertising the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank involved in Project 2025, a far-right draconian blueprint to streamline ultraconservative legislation that would significantly roll back civil rights, designed to be deployed the second Trump takes office. While Trump’s campaign has stated it’s not involved in Project 2025, the blueprint has been described as a legislative “wish list” for a Trump presidency.

Roberts’s assertion that the country is in the midst of “the second American Revolution” sparked concern among critics, who pointed to his statement as damning proof that Project 2025 is part of a wide-sweeping effort to convert American democracy into a fascist state.

Twitter Screenshot Robert Elisberg @relisberg: Dear @heritage Foundation - So, to translate, "As long as the left gives us everything we want (which includes no recreational sex), we won't use guns & violence." This from the party that stormed the Capitol & put up a noose to hang the Vice President.
Twitter Screenshot Robert Elisberg @relisberg: Dear @heritage Foundation - So, to translate, "As long as the left gives us everything we want (which includes no recreational sex), we won't use guns & violence." This from the party that stormed the Capitol & put up a noose to hang the Vice President.
Twitter Screenshot karl (sad trombone noise enthusiast) @brainnotonyet: This is literally a far right coup and the far right is telling you they are going to continue and if we try to stop them they will resort to open violence. This is cartoonish and people need to push these fascist to fuck around before the election. Bring the hurt to them.

What Roberts means by “bloodless” is unclear, but critics immediately interpreted it as a threat that any resistance to the authoritarian far-right power grab laid out by Project 2025 would be met with violence.

Twitter screenshot Brian McGinnis 🏳️‍🌈 @brianmcg_: Extremely cool and fine and normal that the people planning the Trump agenda are expressly saying they are gonna do political violence and Fascism and it is getting near zero media coverage
Twitter screenshot Geoff Wilt @geoffwilt: the president of the heritage foundation indicating they intend violent revolution should be, I dunno, a major news story 🤷‍♂️
Twitter Screenshot Dave Vetter @davidrvetter: The white supremacist Heritage Foundation, which also refutes climate science, is celebrating a "second American Revolution", promising bloodshed if any resistance is offered.
Twitter screenshot CT John Brown Gun Club @ctjbgc: This is a threat of violence if we don’t acquiesce. I guess it’s violence then.

Biden’s Team Is “Freaking the F*** Out” Over Debate Performance

Joe Biden’s White House and campaign staff are frustrated by how senior aides are responding.

Joe Biden looks to the side
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s performance at last week’s debate has induced a maelstrom among aides and officials in the White House and on his campaign, with several administration figures reportedly “freaking the fuck out,” according to Axios.

“It’s the first topic of every conversation,” one White House official told the publication. “Senior leadership has given us nothing. To act like it’s business as usual is delusional.”

The debate was a critical moment for not just Biden’s 2024 candidacy but also his current presidency. Over 90 minutes, what was intended to be a showcase of Donald Trump’s extremism in contrast to Biden devolved into a one-sided train wreck, with Biden unable to string more than a few words together before getting steamrolled by an assertive and comparatively alive Trump.

In the aftermath, aides told Axios that they felt that they were handed empty talking points, with no confident explanations for why Biden appeared so weak and unwell during the debate. As the days drag on, that confusion has morphed into anger and resentment among a swathe of Biden’s employees, with one official involved in the campaign describing the atmosphere as “dark.”

“It feels like there is zero leadership or information,” the anonymous staffer told Axios. “People are being told to keep their heads down and keep working, but they’re not seeing the president or being given any reason why they should have faith in him.”

That feeling was shared in the White House, with one unnamed official telling Axios that “people are looking for leadership and direction that they were told to trust, and hoped was there, but aren’t yet feeling, in what is now clearly a defining moment for this presidency.”

Executive branch employees aren’t the only ones losing sight of the light in the Biden administration. On Tuesday alone, several prominent Democrats, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have signaled it may be time for Biden to remove himself from the race. Representative Jim Clyburn, whose 2020 endorsement helped Biden secure his last nomination, announced his support for Vice President Kamala Harris to take the reins “if [Biden] were to step aside,” and Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett became the first House member to formally call on Biden to withdraw from the race.

Bombshell Poll on Swing States Spells Disaster for Biden In Every Way

Even several states considered blue may be swing states now after Biden’s debate performance.

Joe Biden at the CNN debate holds his arms on the podium and looks downward, as if defeated
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A new leaked poll shows support for President Joe Biden plummeting in key battleground states around the country in the wake of his disastrous debate performance on Thursday.

Puck News gained access to an internal Democratic polling memo conducted 72 hours after the debate, and it’s bad: Several states that were considered solidly blue are now competitive for Donald Trump, including Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, and New Mexico. Plus, other Democrats, such as Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, are polling better than Biden in head-to-head matchups with the convicted felon and former president.

The polling came from OpenLabs, a nonprofit specializing in polling for Democratic organizations, and found that 40 percent of 2020 Biden voters now think the president should step aside, an increase from about 25 percent in May. Swing voters believe Biden should drop out by a 2-to-1 margin.

Democrats and Trump opponents may take solace in the fact that Biden only dropped in national head-to-head polling with Trump by 0.08 points. However, in battleground states, Biden is performing much worse. For example, Biden trails Trump by seven points in Pennsylvania, compared to five points before the debate. He also is behind Trump in Michigan (seven points), Georgia (10 points), and Nevada (nine points).

Tweet screenshot / chart of how Biden’s numbers are dipping in swing states

While this is only one poll, conducted immediately after the debate, it reportedly has been circulating in Democratic circles, and may be a factor behind the worries being openly expressed by top Democrats. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Biden’s mental condition was a “legitimate concern” on Tuesday, and one of the longest serving Democrats in the House, Representative Lloyd Doggett, has even called for Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race.

Can the Biden campaign right the ship and restore calm? ProPublica released an unedited September interview with the president that shows him alert and mentally fit, and Biden also appeared to be lucid and sharp in a North Carolina rally on Friday. He will need more positive counterexamples like those two, as well as a better performance at September’s presidential debate in order to assuage concerns not just from top Democrats, but also voters across the political spectrum.  

Damning Report Reveals Biden’s Memory Lapses Are Increasing

A New York Times report exposes what Joe Biden is like behind the scenes—and how the concerns are not just about one debate performance.

Joe Biden touches his face
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A new report by The New York Times paints a damning picture of Joe Biden’s mental and physical state in the weeks leading up to last week’s debate.

Times reporters who spoke with insiders close to the administration and the campaign revealed that Biden has appeared “confused or listless, or would lose the thread of conversations” over the past few months, even as he’s been “sharp and engaged most of the time.”

Republicans have ramped up attacks on Biden’s age and fitness with edited videos of Biden appearing to freeze, disoriented, at several public events, including a D-Day commemoration at Normandy, a Juneteenth celebration, and diplomatic meetings across Europe. The Biden campaign dismissed these videos as “cheap fakes.” But it’s now clear that Biden’s condition, punctuated by his poor debate performance, alarmed many before he took the stage.

According to the Times, Biden’s European trips were a mixed bag of “moments of sharpness … including a complex session on diverting income from Russian assets to aid Ukraine’’ and “occasional blank-stared confusion.” But European officials were reportedly “shocked” by a “noticeable decline in Mr. Biden’s physical state since the previous fall” and observed that he appeared “out of it.” European leaders at the G7 summit are reported to have held private conversations about Biden’s condition, and one former official is said to have expressed doubt about Biden’s ability to handle an adversary like Vladimir Putin.

But the most shocking revelation in the report concerns Biden’s debate preparation. According to the Times, prep meetings began no earlier than 11 a.m., and included time for a daily nap. Biden surrogates have blamed his performance on bad strategy, calling him “over-coached” and “over-practiced.”

As the campaign digs its heels in against those questioning the president’s fitness, any evidence that the debate was not an outlier but an alarmingly common occurrence will feed the increasingly strident calls for Biden to withdraw from the race.

RFK Jr. Has Unhinged Defense of Damning Sexual Assault Accusation

The conspiracy theorist and independent presidential candidate offered a bonkers explanation.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gestures as he speaks into microphones
Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had a strange reaction to a phenomenally dark set of accusations that emerged Tuesday, seemingly lending credibility to a sexual assault allegation against him by a former employee, while attempting to shoo off the idea that he had chowed down on a dead dog in 2010.

During an interview on Breaking Points, host Saagar Enjeti asked the independent presidential candidate about a photograph of Kennedy posing with what appeared to be a barbecued dog.

“The article is a lot of garbage,” Kennedy said, referring to a Vanity Fair exposé, which published the image. The photo caption mentioned Kennedy recently texted the image to a friend with a message that he should try dog on a visit to Korea. “The picture that they said is of me eating a dog is actually me eating a goat in Patagonia on a white water trip many years ago.

“They say they have an expert that has identified that as a dog carcass. It’s just not true.”

Vanity Fair said a veterinarian examined the photograph and identified the carcass as a dog’s due to its 13 pairs of ribs, including a telltale pair of “floating ribs” that dogs have. Goats also have 13 pairs of ribs, with two pairs of floating ribs.

But that wasn’t the only strange allegation Enjeti pushed Kennedy on. The host also wanted answers to circulating rumors about the politician allegedly sexually assaulting a former family babysitter in 1998, when Kennedy was 45 and the babysitter was 23.

“In terms of the other allegations, listen, I have said this from the beginning: I am not a church boy. I am not running like that,” Kennedy continued. “I had a very, very rambunctious youth. I said in my announcement speech that I have so many skeletons in my closet that if they could all vote I could run for king of the world.

“So, Vanity Fair is recycling 30-year-old stories, and I’m not going to comment on the details of any of them,” Kennedy said, refusing an opportunity to elaborate further on the allegations.

The former babysitter, Eliza Cooney, accused Kennedy of rubbing her leg, reading her diary, asking her to rub lotion on his back, and trapping her in the pantry and groping her, all on separate occasions. Some of Kennedy’s friends also told Vanity Fair that he had sent them photographs of nude women multiple times. The friends believed Kennedy had taken the pictures himself but did not know if the women had consented to being photographed or of the images being shared.

James Clyburn Drops Foreboding, Cryptic Clue on Biden’s Future

A top-ranking Democrat seems to be warning Biden it’s time to step aside.

Representative James Clyburn and Joe Biden
Samuel Corum/Sipa/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Representative Jim Clyburn, whose 2020 primary endorsement paved the way for Joe Biden to lock up the Democratic nomination for president, says he would support Vice President Kamala Harris if Biden were to step aside in November’s election.

Clyburn, a 2024 Biden-Harris campaign co-chair, expressed his support for Harris on MSNBC Tuesday, defending her role in the White House and the Democratic Party.

“I will support her if he were to step aside,” Clyburn told Andrea Mitchell. “I want this ticket to continue to be Biden-Harris, and then we’ll see what happens after the next election.… No. This party should not, in any way, do anything to work around Ms. Harris. We should do everything we can to bolster her whether she’s in second place or at the top of the ticket.”

Is Clyburn alluding to the possibility of Biden being replaced? Whether he is or isn’t, the South Carolina Democrat stressed that Harris should not be bypassed or replaced with anyone else, which could determine what happens with Biden’s status on the Democratic ticket. Clyburn was very much the Democratic kingmaker in 2020, as his endorsement led to Biden winning South Carolina. His endorsement would be critical to any would-be Democratic replacement in the next few months.

Clyburn’s cryptic statement joins less vague rhetoric from other prominent Democrats who worry about whether Biden will have enough support to defeat Donald Trump. Notably, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed those fears on Tuesday, and Representative Lloyd Doggett, a 15-term congressman, even called for Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race.

Meanwhile, Biden plans to speak with Democratic governors from across the country in a private phone call to try and allay their concerns, likely on Wednesday, which would be two days after governors discussed Biden in a phone call among themselves. Right now, the mood within the Democratic Party is tense and anxious, with even former President Barack Obama being unable to calm the party faithful.

Trump Hush-Money Judge Ominously Warns a Sentence May Never Come

The Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity has delayed another one of Donald Trump’s lawsuits.

Donald Trump stands in front of a microphone
Kyle Mazza/Anadolu/Getty Images

The judge in Donald Trump’s hush-money case on Tuesday postponed his sentencing until September 18, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to grant sweeping immunity to the former president.

“The Court’s decision will be rendered off calendar on September 6, 2024, and the matter is adjourned to September 18, 2024 at 10:00 AM for the imposition of sentence, if such is still necessary, or other proceedings,” New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan wrote in a letter.

It seems that Merchan is no longer certain that Trump’s sentencing for his 34 felony count conviction will ever come to pass. The sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention.

On Monday, Trump’s lawyers submitted a pre-motion letter requesting that the former president’s guilty verdict be set aside and his sentencing delayed, just hours after the ruling in Trump v. United States, which determined that Trump could not face legal action over his official conduct as president.

Although many of the actions entered into evidence in Trump’s hush-money trial took place before he won the White House, his legal team said that some of his communications with fixer Michael Cohen would have been thrown out or redacted under the new rule. Merchan had previously rejected a similar motion in April, calling it “untimely.”

Trump was convicted of falsifying business records to conceal hush-money payments Cohen had made to keep adult film actress Stormy Daniels quiet about an affair she’d had with Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. Trump’s legal team hoped Monday to brief Merchan on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on his guilty verdict.

The next day, prosecutors for the case wrote that they did not oppose delaying the sentence.

“Although we believe defendant’s arguments to be without merit, we do not oppose his request for leave to file and his putative request to adjourn sentencing pending determination of his motion,” prosecutors wrote in a letter to Merchan.

It’s still unclear whether the results of the immunity decision will result in Trump’s trial being thrown out. Now Trump’s lawyers will have more than two months to prove that Merchan was wrong to reject their first motion on the grounds that it was untimely, that the evidence on which Trump was convicted constituted official acts as president, and that the prosecutors were wrong to use that evidence to convict him.

This story has been updated.

Nancy Pelosi Warns Trump—and Biden—Should Take Mental Fitness Test

After Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance, the former House speaker seems to be sounding the alarm.

Nancy Pelosi speaking in front of several mics
Omar Marques/Getty Images

Concern over Joe Biden’s ability to defeat Donald Trump in November amid questions about his age and mental fitness have already reached a fever pitch across the liberal media, with columnists and editors with the campaign’s ear exhorting the president to step aside. But now members of Biden’s own party, including those at the very top, are following suit in voicing their worry after Biden’s disastrous debate performance. The latest, and most notable so far, is Nancy Pelosi.

The former speaker of the House did not give a ringing endorsement of Biden when asked by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Tuesday. Though she lauded the Biden administration’s achievements during his term, she also echoed fears about Biden’s condition during the debate.

“I think it’s a legitimate question to say, ‘Is this an episode or is this a condition?’” she said. “When people ask that question, it’s legitimate.”

Pelosi went on to suggest that both Biden and Trump should take mental fitness tests. “Both candidates owe whatever test you want to put them to, in terms of their mental acuity and their health—both of them,” she said.

The 84-year-old California representative is not the first elected Democrat to acknowledge the questions swirling around Biden’s candidacy, or even the loudest voice to do so—Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett called for Biden to withdraw from the race Tuesday—but she, along with South Carolina Representative James Clyburn, who was essential to Biden’s winning the Democratic nomination in 2020, is the highest-profile member of a growing chorus questioning Biden’s stamina in a race against Trump. Postdebate polls, including Democratic internal polling, show Biden behind Trump nationally, as well as in key swing states.

The Biden campaign responded to the initial swell of postdebate criticism by decrying the “bedwetting brigade.” But now, with Democratic governors holding a private phone call to express their worry, prominent party members like Pelosi and Clyburn publicly equivocating, and the urgency of messaging and energetic campaigning growing with each Supreme Court decision, it’s clear that Biden’s campaign can no longer afford to dismiss the issue.