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NYT Editorial Board calls for Biden to leave the 2024 presidential race

CNN  —  The New York Times Editorial Board is calling on President Joe Biden to leave the race for the White House after his performance at CNN’s presidential debate. “The president appeared on Thursday night as the shadow of a great public servant. He struggled to explain what he would accomplish in a second term. He struggled to respond to Mr. Trump’s provocations. He struggled to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his lies, his failures and his chilling plans. More than once, he struggled to make it to the end of a sentence,” the board wrote in an opinion piece published Friday. “The greatest public service Mr. Biden can now perform is to announce that he will not continue to run for re-election. As it stands, the president is engaged in a reckless gamble. There are Democratic leaders better equipped to present clear, compelling and energetic alternatives to a second Trump presidency. There is no reason for the party to risk the stability and security of the country by forcing voters to choose between Mr. Trump’s deficiencies and those of Mr. Biden. It’s too big a bet to simply hope Americans will overlook or discount Mr. Biden’s age and infirmity that they see with their own eyes,” the Times also said. The board went on to say it would still support Biden as its “unequivocal pick” if the choice remains between him and former President Donald Trump. The Biden campaign hit back at the editorial board’s critique on Friday evening. “The last time Joe Biden lost the New York Times editorial board’s endorsement, it turned out pretty well for him,” a Biden senior adviser told CNN. The Times endorsed two Democratic presidential candidates in 2020: Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. The New York Times is the latest to critique Biden’s debate performance, which has set off alarm bells among top Democrats — leaving some to openly question whether Biden can stay atop of the Democratic ticket. “He seemed a little disoriented. He did get stronger as the debate went on. But by that time, I think the panic had set in,” longtime Democratic operative and CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod said. Axelrod also gave voice to a conversation happening among many Democrats on Thursday night: “There are going to be discussions about whether he should continue.” On MSNBC, the cable news channel that’s seen as the home to the country’s progressive political wing, anchor Alex Wagner said Thursday immediately following the debate that there had “been a uniformly negative reaction to Biden’s performance tonight.” “This was about revealing who Donald Trump was, but it was also Joe Biden battling a caricature of himself as an enfeebled person,” Wagner said of the debate. “And he did nothing to disabuse, I think, the country of the notion that he is very old and was lost frequently in that debate.”