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Lehigh Valley Congresswoman Wild admits concerns about Biden's electability

Rep. Susan Wild, left, has has expressed concerns about President Joe Biden's 'electability at the top of the ticket,' she acknowledged in a statement released Monday.
Rep. Susan Wild, left, has has expressed concerns about President Joe Biden's 'electability at the top of the ticket,' she acknowledged in a statement released Monday.

Lehigh Valley Congresswoman Susan Wild raised concerns about President Joe Biden's ability to win reelection during a call between House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and other House Democrats on Sunday.

"In a confidential conversation with other members of House Democratic leadership, I expressed the same concerns that Americans across the country -- and here in my district -- are grappling with, about President Biden’s electability at the top of the ticket," Wild said in a statement released to WVIA and other media.

Wild's remarks were first reported by CNN, which cited sources who said "more than a handful of House Democratic ranking members" told Jeffries they felt Biden needed to step aside.

"I expressed these concerns after spending multiple days speaking with my constituents about the importance of this election, when reproductive rights, workers’ rights and democracy are all on the ballot," Wild added.

"In the coming days and weeks, I will operate as I always have, continuing to have these important conversations while keeping the best interests of my constituents at the forefront of every decision and statement I make," she said.

Public broadcasting outlet LehighValleyNews.com pointed out that Wild's remarks came five days after she hosted first lady Jill Biden in Allentown for an event promoting the Biden administration's education and workforce development efforts.

Jill Biden did not take questions from reporters that day, and Wild declined to comment on Biden's performance in the debate, saying, "I'm not here to talk politics today," LehighValleyNews.com noted.

But as LehighValleyNews.com also noted, the National Republican Congressional Committee seized on Wild's about-face from her previous support of Biden, which comes as she is seeking reelection.

Biden doubles down amid concerns

Concerns about Biden's viability as the Democratic candidate have intensified following his performance during the June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump.

Biden on Monday doubled down on his refusal to go, NPR reported.

“I am firmly committed to staying in this race," he wrote in a letter to Democratic lawmakers, adding that speculation over his future was helping former President Donald Trump — and that it was time to stop.

Later Monday morning, Biden called in to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and angrily defended his record and decision, NPR added.

In an ABC News interview Friday night, a defiant Biden attributed his terrible debate performance to "a bad episode" and a "bad night" and would not drop out of the presidential race — unless "the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that."

Top Pa. Dems maintain support

Wild's statements mark a significant departure from what other Pennsylvania Democrats have been saying, particularly the party's top elected officials in the state.

Gov. Josh Shapiro in a Scranton appearance last Monday pledged his continued support for Biden at an event also attended by U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright. On the same day, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey echoed support for Biden, saying he’s confident Biden can run a strong race and serve a second term.

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman has been outspoken in his support of Biden in interviews and on social media, posting a photo on X, formerly Twitter, of himself and wife Gisele with the president, who visited the state on Sunday.

Not everyone is convinced, however.

NPR is maintaining a "Biden support tracker" that charts what Democratic lawmakers have had to say about the president's candidacy.

As of Sunday night, it listed nine who had called for Biden to step down, 13 who continue to back the president, and 11 who have expressed concerns, including Wild.

Roger DuPuis joins WVIA News from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. His 24 years of experience in journalism, as both a reporter and editor, included several years at The Scranton Times-Tribune. His beat assignments have ranged from breaking news, local government and politics, to business, healthcare, and transportation. He has a lifelong interest in urban transit, particularly light rail, and authored a book about Philadelphia's trolley system.

You can email Roger at rogerdupuis@wvia.org
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