Nancy Pelosi urges Joe Biden to ‘make a decision’ quickly on presidential race

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Nancy Pelosi, the veteran Democratic lawmaker, has called on Joe Biden to “make a decision” quickly on whether he would continue his quest for re-election, stopping short of endorsing his bid for a second term.

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run. We’re all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short,” Pelosi, the former Speaker of the House and one of the party’s most influential members of Congress, said during an MSNBC interview on Wednesday.

Pelosi’s comments will be a blow to Biden as he tries to prevent an all-out rebellion against his candidacy in the wake of a disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump last month.

Biden told Democrats this week that he was determined to carry on with the re-election campaign, and secured the backing of a number of powerful lawmakers inside the party.

However, Pelosi’s equivocal comments suggested there was still deep unease among rank-and-file Democrats about whether he should remain in the presidential race.

Biden is due to hold a press conference on Thursday evening at the end of the Nato summit he is hosting in Washington this week, then heading to Michigan on Friday for a campaign rally.

On MSNBC Pelosi pleaded for Democrats to stop airing their grievances in public until after the Nato summit in Washington this week. “Let him deal with this Nato conference . . . whatever you’re thinking — either tell someone privately, but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week,” she said.

One of the most blistering indictments of Biden’s continued campaign was delivered on CNN on Tuesday night by Michael Bennet, the Democratic senator from Colorado, warning that Trump could win in a “landslide”.

“I’m sure President Biden has a different view of his prospects in this election than I do. But we should be having a discussion about that,” Bennet said. “And the White House in the time since that disastrous debate I think has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election.”

According to the national polling average, Trump leads Biden by 2.1 percentage points, whereas Biden had a tiny lead heading into the debate at the end of June. Trump also has an edge in the battleground states that will decide the election in November.

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