Defiant Biden vows ‘I’m the nominee’ but says wrong election year at Wisconsin rally (2024)

President Biden doubled down Friday on his refusal to leave the presidential race — saying “I’m the nominee” and that “I’m running and going to win again” — but at one point mistakenlysaid the election yearwas 2020 as fellow Democratssuggestedthat he drop out due to perceived senility.

“There’s been a lot of speculation: What’s Joe going to do? Is he going to stay in the race? Is hegoing to drop out?” the 81-year-old president said at the top of a 17-minute campaign speech in Madison, Wis.

“Here’s my answer: I’m running and going to win again.”



“I’m the nominee of the Democratic Party,”Biden toldhundreds of supporters in a middleschool gym.“You voted for me to be your nominee — no one else.

“Some folks don’t seem to care who you voted for. Guess what? They are trying to push me out of the race. Let me say this as clearly as I can: I’m staying in the race.”

“I will beat Donald Trump,” the president said. “I will beat him again in 2020.”


Several seconds later, Biden corrected himself, adding: “By the way, we’re going to do it again in 2024.”

Not all rallygoersbought the message— with cameras catching one attendee holdinga sign over Biden’s shoulder that read: “PASS THE TORCH JOE.”

Outside the school, Biden’s motorcade passed locals holding signs saying “Save your legacy drop out,” “Be a heroone more time,” “I heart you Joe, Bow out” and “Give it up, Joe.”

Another handmade sign said “Pres Biden- serve your country — not your ego… exit now.”

But the president was unfazed, telling reporters on the tarmac as he left Wisconsin for his home in Delaware that there’s no way he will step aside.

What to know about the fallout from President Biden's debate performance:

  • President Biden’s poor performance in the first 2024 presidential debate has left even some Democrats unsure of his fitness for office and future as the party’s candidate.
  • Former President Barack Obama admitted that Biden had a “bad” debate, while his rival former President Donald Trump suggested that he was in a “trance” and “choked.”
  • Biden told a crowd at a North Carolina rally the day after the debate that he doesn’t “debate as well as I used to” — but insisted that he can still “do this job.”
  • The New York Times editorial board called on the president to serve the country by dropping out of the race. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a similar editorial a day later.
  • Biden gathered with his family at Camp David to assess the campaign’s future, with his son Hunter reportedly pushing for him to stay in the race. Family members questioned if the president’s top advisers should be fired after the disastrous debate.
  • In a pre-taped interview with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, Biden claimed that his “bad episode” at the debate was a result of a cold and not any cognitive issues.
  • Biden has rejected calls for him to step down from fellow Democrats, insisting to Stephanopoulos that he is the most qualified to win the election. At a Wisconsin rally, he declared that he is “running and going to win again.”

“I’m completely ruling that out,” Biden said of dropping outafter his dazed and confused CNN debate showing last Thursday, which triggered a groundswell of Democratic calls for a new candidate.

When asked why he thought he was the best candidate to beat Trump, the president reiterated that “I did it before.”

When a reporter mentioned that had happened four years earlier, Biden rebuked them with “you’ve been wrong about everything.”


The president also said that “I’m committing now, absolutely” to debating Trump, 78, at the second and final scheduled forum of the 2024 campaign, which is set to be hosted Sept. 10 by ABC News.

Bidenwould be 86 if he completes a full second term andhas privately acknowledged that he may indeed have to drop out within the next month if he is unable to regain his footing — though many Democrats fear that Vice President Kamala Harris would fare even worse against Trump, prompting contentious conjecture on possible alternatives.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the chairman of the chamber’s intelligence committee,is organizing a lettercalling on Biden to drop his bid for a second term, the Washington Post reported Friday afternoon.

Biden dismissed Warner’s moves Friday, saying “he’s the only one” who wants the president to step aside.

However, three House Democrats — Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts — already have called for Biden to retire and others — including Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington—have said publicly they expect him to lose to Trump.

  • Watch Biden’s worst moments during the presidential debate
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Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey all but urged Biden to stand down in a Friday statement saying: “I urge him to listen to the American people and carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump.”

Healey, 53, was one of 10 Democratic governors to travel to the White House on Wednesday to meet with Biden in person, only three of whomstood on the White House driveway afterward to vouch for the incumbent.

“Maura Healey didn’t say anything when I was in the room, OK?” Biden said.

Wisconsin Republicans jumped all over the president in their pre-buttal to his speech Friday, with state GOPChairman Brian Schimming telling reporters: “This may be Joe Biden’s last appearance in Madison and Wisconsin as a candidate with the mess they have going on.”

Biden delivered his Friday speech off teleprompters, but spoke with vigor and relative clarity — shortly before sitting for his first TV interview since the June 27debate, with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Additional reporting by Amy Sikmaand George Caldwell

Defiant Biden vows ‘I’m the nominee’ but says wrong election year at Wisconsin rally (2024)
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