Governors after Biden meeting: We have his back

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A small group of Democratic governors affirmed their support for President Biden following a White House meeting with the president on Wednesday amid growing Democratic calls for him to drop out of the race. 

“The feedback was, we are all looking for the path to win. All the governors agree with that, president Biden agreed with that,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, speaking outside of the White House with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

Walz noted that Biden has had the governor’s backs through the coronavirus pandemic and “the governors have his back.”  

“A path to victory in November is the number one priority and that’s the number one priority of the president,” he continued. 

Walz responded “yes” when asked by a reporter if Biden is fit for office, acknowledging that Thursday’s debate was a “bad performance.”

Biden’s reelection campaign said after the meeting that all the participants in it, which was over 20 governors both in-person and virtually, “reiterated their shared commitment” to helping Biden win in 2024. 

The campaign said that the meeting with governors was to “discuss their continued partnership” in the campaign and that the president “sought the advice and expertise” of the governors about beating former President Trump in November.

And, the campaign said that “the meeting also focused on the importance of electing Democrats up and down the ballot to deliver more Democratic governors and more Democratic majorities in Congress and statehouses across the country.” 

Moore, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic party, and whose name has been floated as a possible replacement for Biden, called the meeting with Biden and Harris “honest” and “candid.” Moore said that the governors were clear with Biden about the concerns they have and what concerns they have heard.

“We said we will stand with him. The president has always had our backs, we’re going to have his back as well,” Moore said.

Governors “pledged our support” to Biden during the meeting, Hochul said.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who attended the meeting in person, echoed her colleagues in a post on X. 

“Joe Biden is our nominee. He is in it to win it and I support him,” Whitmer wrote. 

The governors meeting on Wednesday was part of the White House and Biden’s efforts to try to stop the bleeding following his disastrous debate performance. 

Biden and his aides are forcefully insisting that the president is staying in the race, while Democratic operatives, former aides, and two sitting House Democratic lawmakers have called for Biden to step aside since the debate.

And on Wednesday night, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said he is “taking time to seriously consider the best strategy for Democrats to win this election.”

“When your current strategy isn’t working, it’s rarely the right decision to double down. President Biden is not going to get younger,” Moulton said. 

As part of the clean-up effort, Biden spoke with Democratic congressional leadership earlier on Wednesday, including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.).

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