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Biden Campaign Will Try to Reassure Big Donors

Biden Campaign Will Try to Reassure Big Donors

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President Biden’s top campaign official is scheduled to hold a crucial conference call with donors on Monday to try to convince them that Mr. Biden can still win the race against former President Donald J. Trump.

The call with the national finance committee, scheduled hastily on Sunday, is the Biden campaign’s most formal attempt yet to tamp down panic within the ranks of major donors since Thursday’s debate.

Some individual donors have received direct communication from campaign officials, and Biden fund-raisers say communication picked up over the weekend, according to people close to the conversations. The call on Monday is to be hosted by Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, the campaign chair.

Preserving the donor base will be critical to the president’s argument for staying in the race, many of Mr. Biden’s allies have acknowledged.

Mr. Biden huddled out of sight at Camp David on Monday morning as his team remained defiant, promising that he will stay in the race despite last week’s debacle. He plans to return to the White House on Monday evening.

Family members and friends spent the weekend urging Mr. Biden to keep fighting, even as some Democrats and others called on him to step aside. At the White House and the campaign, aides tried to press forward as usual, putting out news releases on student loans and the president’s overtime policies.

But the week promised to be anything but business as usual.

Mr. Biden and his campaign aides are bracing for poll results this week that could show whether the shaky and disjointed performance in the debate has tanked his support with under five months to go before Election Day.

Mr. Biden and his advisers discussed over the weekend whether the president should find a forum to respond to the debate fallout in person, by holding a news conference or sitting for interviews. But both options have political risks, and no decision had been made by Monday morning.

His campaign on Monday released its first television ad since the debate, featuring Mr. Biden focused on his rival and saying that Mr. Trump repeatedly lied during the debate.

“Did you see Trump last night?” the president is shown saying during remarks he gave in North Carolina the day after the debate. “I mean this sincerely — the most lies told in a single debate. He lied about the great economy he created. He lied about the pandemic he botched.”

The ad ends with the president saying, “I know, like millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down, you get back up.”

During those remarks on Friday, Mr. Biden delivered a more forceful and disciplined speech at the rally in North Carolina. Some of his political allies have said they hope to see more such demonstrations to show the president still has the vigor to serve as president for the next five years.

“He needs to be extraordinarily aggressive — much more aggressive than he has been by getting out in front of the public,” said Matt Bennett, the executive vice president of Third Way, a Democratic think tank. “Doing town hall meetings with voters. Doing sit-downs with reporters. Doing television interviews. Doing press conferences. He needs to prove that was one bad night and not a pattern.”

But the president’s schedule for the week ahead suggests he will not be taking that advice. Instead, he will have a three-day workweek at the White House with few events and no campaign rallies.

On Tuesday, he is scheduled to receive a briefing on extreme weather conditions and participate in a private campaign fund-raiser. On Wednesday, he will host a Medal of Honor ceremony. And on Thursday, he will celebrate the Fourth of July with members of the military.

He has no events scheduled at the White House on Friday, when he is scheduled to return to his home in Wilmington, Del.



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