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Day 1261

1/ Biden privately acknowledged that he’s keeping an “open mind” about the future of his presidential campaign, telling a key ally in the aftermath of the debate that he may not be able to stay in the race if he can’t prove he’s up to the job. “He sees the moment. He’s clear-eyed,” the person said, adding: “He’s not oblivious.” Another top adviser added that Biden was “well aware of the political challenge he faces […] He knows if he has two more events like that, we’re in a different place” by the end of the weekend. “This is false,” the White House said in response to the reports, adding that Biden is “absolutely not” considering stepping down. And Biden in a call with campaign staff said: “Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can, as simply and straightforward as I can: I am running. No one is pushing me out. I’m not leaving. I’m in this race to the end and we’re going to win.” Since the debate, Biden and his campaign staff have engaged in an all-hands-on-deck effort to defend his fitness for office, reassure lawmakers, quell donor anxiety, and boost party morale. Dozens of Democratic lawmakers, however, have reportedly circulated a letter demanding that Biden withdraw from the race. Two Democrats – Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas – have called on Biden to drop out. (New York Times / CNN / ABC News / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / CNN / Washington Post)

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