MSNBC guest says House Dems feel party faces ‘existential crisis’

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Harold Hutchison
Daily Caller News Foundation

House Democrats are “not buying” efforts by the White House to explain away President Joe Biden’s poor debate performance and say the party faces an “existential threat” due to Biden’s declining mental acuity and a recent Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity, a co-founder of Axios said on MSNBC Wednesday.

Biden has come under fire from fellow Democrats since Thursday night’s CNN debate with former President Donald Trump, during which the incumbent froze at least twice, lost his train of thought, appeared stiff and made multiple verbal gaffes. Axios CEO and co-founder Jim VandeHei said that “furious” House Democrats are calling on Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York to “have a very serious conversation” about Biden’s future.

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“I would say we’ve talked to literally dozens of House members, most of whom aren’t going to go on the record yet, the ones who are going to go on the record already have, they’re furious, like they’re just not buying it,” VandeHei told “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski. “Now, I would say they’re madder about the response to the debate than the debate itself. They can’t believe that he’s deflecting and saying it’s much ado about nothing. They can’t believe he’s blaming staff for it. And now this idea that an 11-day jetlag would cause you to have a poor debate performance strikes them as a crazy explanation for it.”

WATCH:

Democratic lawmakers have privately been sharing stories about Biden’s mental decline, VandeHei and Axios co-founder Mike Allen reported. Many expressed frustration that Biden was not immediately reaching out following the debate performance.

“In all, if you’re a member of Congress, to be honest, all you care about is your voters first and your donors second,” VandeHei told Brzezinski. “Yeah, you like the president, if he helps you, but if he doesn’t, you will turn on him because you care about self-preservation. So they’re talking to donors, donors are furious. Voters are telling them what Lloyd Doggett’s voters are telling him, which is we want him to step aside. That’s why yesterday, we talked several people were on multiple calls with a lot of members and when there was either a show of hands, or hey, should he stay in, almost nobody said that he should stay in.”

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas publicly called on Biden to end his candidacy Tuesday evening. Other Democrats have echoed the call amid the growing fallout from Biden’s debate performance, with prominent Democratic donor Whitney Tilson accusing Biden and his campaign of “deceiving” voters.

“They want Hakeem Jeffries, they want Chuck Schumer, the two Democratic leaders to go in and talk to him and have a very serious conversation about getting out of the race before the convention so they can have a messy but somewhat orderly transition to somebody else,” VandeHei said. “They believe, and I think they’re right, that the Biden family and the Biden staff are trying to keep anybody who might make that case to Biden away from Biden.”

“You toss in that Supreme Court ruling and you have Democrats saying this could be an existential threat to our party, to our majorities, to the country in their own personal views,” VandeHei concluded.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Trump’s claims of immunity in a case stemming from an indictment secured by special counsel Jack Smith over his efforts to contest the 2020 election in a 6-3 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts

Biden currently trails Trump by 2.4% in a national head-to-head matchup, according to the RealClearPolling average of polls, with Trump’s lead growing to 3.8% when independent candidates Cornel West and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included.

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