Democrats weigh next steps on Biden

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WASHINGTON: Democratic US lawmakers huddled behind closed doors on Tuesday amid mounting fears about their prospects in the November 5 election, after President Joe Biden defiantly rejected calls by some in the party to end his campaign.

A half-dozen House of Representatives Democrats have publicly called for the 81-year-old incumbent to step aside and allow someone else to face Republican Donald Trump, and several more have voiced concerns about Biden’s chances after a halting debate performance raised fresh questions about his ability to mount a successful campaign – and to keep up with a gruelling job for another 4-1/2 years.

“He just has to step down. He can’t win,” US Representative Mike Quigley, one of the six lawmakers who have urged Biden to end his campaign, said on his way into the meeting of Democratic House members on Tuesday. “My colleagues need to recognise that.”

But numerous others said they would not abandon their president. “I think he is our best hope to make sure Donald Trump does not get back into office,” US Representative Shri Thanedar told reporters.