Biden digs in as Democrats consider forcing him out of presidential race
MADISON: (Reuters) President Joe Biden on Friday battled to put down an uprising among some Democrats pushing him to abandon his reelection campaign after a poor debate performance, vowing that "I’m staying in the race."

In a fiery speech to supporters in Wisconsin and in an ABC News interview, Biden argued he is the best Democratic candidate to prevent Republican Donald Trump from regaining the White House in the Nov. 5 election.

Biden s halting performance at his debate with Trump on June 27 raised serious concerns among some Democrats about his mental acuity and stamina at age 81.

There is a movement afoot in the party to persuade him to step aside, with critics warning he faces near-certain defeat and could drag other Democrats down with him. House Democrats and a group of senators are expected to convene on the topic when they return to Washington next week.

Some public opinion polls have shown Trump widening a lead since the debate, and a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that one in three Democrats want Biden to quit the race.

Also read: Biden acknowledges age, bad debate performance but vows to beat Trump

Biden rejected the movement on Friday.

“We had a little debate last week. Can’t say it was my best performance. But ever since then there’s been a lot of speculation. ‘What’s Joe gonna do? Is he gonna stay in the race? Is he gonna drop out?” Biden said. “Well here’s my answer: I am running and gonna win again.”

Biden used a 22-minute ABC News interview to argue again that he simply had a bad night at the debate but was otherwise fine.

Under persistent questioning from ABC interviewer George Stephanopoulos, Biden dismissed polls that showed him trailing Trump and said other polls have him in a better position.

Asked if he had undergone a specific cognitive test for a neurological exam, Biden said he had not had one and “no one said I had to.” The rigors of the White House are sufficient, he said.

Also read: Biden falters as Trump unleashes barrage of falsehoods at first debate

In his last physical exam on Feb. 28 he was determined to be fit for duty.

Biden added he was the best candidate to take on Trump and that only “Lord almighty” could oust him from the race.

Biden’s latest efforts to convince Democrats to stick with him were dismissed by some, although he seemed determined to fight on.

“He seems not to be able to compute the fact that people have these questions about him,” Democratic strategist David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told CNN.

“It’s pretty clear that he’s not going anywhere unless there’s a major revolt on the Hill,” a senior Democratic National Committee official told Reuters.