'I dare you to challenge me': Defiant Joe Biden takes on critics calling for him to step down from presidential race

8 July 2024, 16:08 | Updated: 8 July 2024, 16:39

President Biden at a church in Philadelphia yesterday
President Biden at a church in Philadelphia yesterday. Picture: Getty

By StephenRigley

Joe Biden has said he is "not blind" to concerns about his age in a head-on attack on critics questioning his future in the US presidential race.

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In a letter to Democrats in Congress, the US president said he was "firmly committed" to his re-election campaign and vowed to remain in the contest against Donald Trump.

"I want you to know that despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump," Mr Biden wrote.

Around the same time the letter was published, the US president phoned in to MSNBC's Morning Joe program and said he is confident the "average voter out there" still wants him on the Democrat ticket.

Mr Biden said: "I am not going anywhere."

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In the letter posted to Instagram Mr Biden writes that he has had "extensive conversations" with the leadership of the Democrat party and "most importantly, Democratic voters" over the past 10 days.

He continues: "I have heard the concerns that people have - their good faith fears and worries about what is at stake in this election.

"I am not blind to them."

In relation to the concerns raised about his health and suitability to run, Mr Biden adds: "I can respond to all this by saying clearly and unequivocally: I wouldn't be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024."

The US president says that he was voted to be the Democratic presidential candidate by a "wide margin", adding: "How can we stand for democracy in our nation if we ignore it in our party?"

Mr Biden claims his record as president will help him secure re-election to the White House, and says his party has an "economic vision to run on that soundly beats Trump and the MAGA Republicans".

There have been concerns about the health and capability of the 81-year-old president after a shambolic performance in a debate with Trump last month.

Democrats described Mr Biden's performance as an "unmitigated disaster", "a meltdown", and "a slow-motion car crash".

Even some of Mr Biden's closest political allies, including the former speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, have raised questions about his health.

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