Biden meets with Democratic mayors as he tries to shore up support

Washington — President Biden joined a call with the Democratic Mayors Association on Tuesday evening as he tries to solidify support for his reelection bid and calm concerns about whether he can handle the job for another four years as an octogenarian. 

In a statement late Tuesday night, Biden’s campaign said that the president joined a call with nearly 200 mayors and “laid out his vision for a second term.”

The campaign said he made remarks about his policy priorities and then took questions, but it did not note if he addressed the controversy surrounding his reelection bid following his disastrous debate performance last month against former President Donald Trump, which revived concerns about his health and age.  

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson had said they would be among the local leaders meeting virtually with Mr. Biden. 

Mr. Biden has spoken to a number of elected officials in recent days as they weigh whether to continue backing his candidacy. Congressional Democrats have been all over the map on whether there’s a path forward for Mr. Biden’s campaign. 

Several House Democrats have called for him to withdraw from the race, while others have been unequivocal in their support. Not a single Senate Democrat has publicly called for him to step aside, though some have urged him to do more to demonstrate that he can meet the demands of the campaign and presidency. 

Adams appeared to criticize those calling for Mr. Biden to withdraw from the campaign, saying “you do not dictate to candidates and their teams.” 

“You say to them, ‘I’m here to help. Give me my marching orders,'” he told reporters Tuesday. “I’m just a soldier. Whatever is asked of me, I’m going to do that.” 

Adams said it’s up to Mr. Biden whether he remains on the 2024 ticket. 

“The president will make the determination on what he’s doing,” he said. “He’s the president of the United States. I respect that. He’ll make the determination on what he’s going to do.” 

Johnson said he was looking forward to speaking with the president but offered lukewarm support for his candidacy. 

“Joe Biden is the president and our Democratic nominee, and we all need to do everything we can to defeat Donald Trump this November,” he wrote. 

—Aaron Navarro contributed reporting.

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