Vulnerable Democrats leave Biden high and dry after 'disastrous' debate performance

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Democrats under threat of losing their seats to Republicans appear to be leaving President Biden high and dry following what’s been widely viewed as a “disastrous” performance in Thursday’s presidential debate.

Fox News Digital asked multiple Democrat senators, House members and candidates facing tough races for their reaction to the debate, as well as if they agreed with the assessment by others in their party that Biden should step aside as a presidential candidate. 

Not one stepped up to defend him.

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The names most notably absent from jumping to Biden’s defense were Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sherrod Brown, D-Pa, all of whom have been quick to praise the president in the more recent past.

Tester, for example, previously described Biden as “absolutely 100% with it,” and said, “He’s fine. He’s doing a good job. I think folks are making a bigger deal out of it than it is.” Republicans have been going after him by running those very words in ads across the state.

Baldwin’s campaign distanced themselves from Biden following the debate, telling one news outlet on Friday, “Tammy Baldwin is running her own race for the people of Wisconsin.”

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“Senate Democrats have been telling Americans Joe Biden is still sharp. Jon Tester even went so far as to say Biden is ‘absolutely 100% with it.’ It is clear they were lying, and voters will remember that in November,” National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Mike Berg told Fox News Digital.

Reps. Ruben Gallego, the likely Democrat nominee for Senate in Arizona, Colin Allred, the Democrat nominee for Senate in Texas, and Elissa Slotkin, the likely Democrat nominee for Senate in Michigan, as well as Angela Alsobrooks, the Democrat nominee for Senate in Maryland, also failed to defend Biden when asked about the debate.

Some House Democrats facing tough races, such as Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, have taken a similar approach. The National Republican Congressional Committee on Friday posted a video on social media of Kaptur being trailed in the airport by a GOP operative asking if Biden was “fit to be president.”

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“Joe Biden is president,” Kaptur said, refusing to give a direct answer. When pressed by the operative, Kaptur simply said, “Are you fit to be president?”

Kaptur’s campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Democratic Rep. Emilia Sykes won a tight race in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District in 2022 and Cook Political Report ranks her race in 2024 as a “Democrat Toss Up.” Fox News Digital reached out to her office and did not receive a response.

In Washington state, Dem. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is facing a tough reelection campaign that the Cook Political Report ranks as a “Democrat Toss Up.” Her office did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Ohio Rep. Greg Landsman, who also could be facing a tough reelection fight this year, did, however, admit what the others wouldn’t.

“Biden struggled, but he’s an honest person who cares deeply about the country and Trump, on the other hand, is a con man and only cares about himself,” he told Fox News Digital. 

“I’m not sure what happens next. I’m clear about my job, which is to serve the 700,000 people we represent — working to make life better for children and families by getting costs down, strengthening our democracy, restoring freedoms, and helping to solve the big problems we face so families don’t have to worry as much as they do now.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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