Biden, on Call With Mayors, Works to Shore Up Democratic Support

President Biden held a video call with nearly 200 Democratic mayors on Tuesday night, reiterating that he was staying in the presidential race, reminding the city leaders how best to support his campaign and discussing his second-term agenda.

Mr. Biden, his campaign and the White House have been working to dismiss and defuse Democratic criticisms about his viability after his poor debate showing. Those efforts included a gathering of Democratic governors last week at the White House, a television interview with ABC News two days later and calls on Monday to top donors, congressional leaders and a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The call with mayors lasted about 40 minutes and Mr. Biden took three questions, according to Mayor Cory Mason of Racine, Wis., a Democrat who participated in the call and provided details about how it went — as did five other mayors who insisted on anonymity to freely discuss the conversation. Mr. Mason described Mr. Biden as “the president that everybody’s used to seeing” and not the one who delivered a halting debate performance nearly two weeks ago.

“It was understandable for a time for people to ask if everything is OK,” Mr. Mason said. “It’s four months out from the election, so you can’t have too many of those days, but every day that passes, he’s proving he can recover from a bad debate performance.”

The mayors described the call as a somewhat scripted pep rally, with Mr. Biden speaking for about 20 minutes and then taking questions from mayors selected by the moderator, Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix.

Like many video calls arranged by the Biden campaign and the White House, participants could not see who else was on the call or add comments into the chat screen. They could indicate their feelings about what was being said by adding emojis, and many contributed smiley-face ones as Mr. Biden spoke, according to Mr. Mason.

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Source: Elections -


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