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D Day: All eyes on Biden’s ABC interview


U.S. President Joe Biden will take part in a television interview on Friday, an appearance that will be closely watched following his shaky debate performance against former president Donald Trump.

Biden will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, a liberal enclave in one of the nation’s swing states, to rally Democratic voters. During the trip, he will be interviewed by ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos. The recorded interview will air in full on Friday night, the network said.

This is part of a series of events over the next week aimed at showing Americans he still has the stamina to run against Republican candidate Donald Trump in the November 5 election.

While Biden insists he is staying in the race and that his health is not faltering, he is under enormous pressure to step aside and open a path for his 59-year-old vice president, Kamala Harris. Some donors are making their displeasure known loudly, halting funding or looking at possible Democratic alternatives. Even some of Biden’s closest political allies, like former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have raised questions about his health.

Several public opinion polls have shown Trump establishing a sizeable lead over the Democratic president since the debate, while a Reuters/Ipsos poll found one in three Democrats want Biden to quit the race. The White House has blamed a cold for Biden’s shaky performance and Biden himself cited jet lag from back-to-back trips to Europe.

Biden’s campaign announced plans for a $50 million advertising blitz during July. The 81-year-old president, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses, also plans to make stops in every battleground state, working to regain ground lost to Trump.

To mark the Fourth of July holiday, Biden paid tribute to the sacrifices of U.S. service members at the White House. After lingering to take photos with parents and their children, Biden heard someone say, “keep up the fight.”

“You got me, man. I’m not going anywhere!” Biden responded to cheers.

Biden met on Wednesday with a group of Democratic governors who said he was clear-eyed about what needed to change following the debate. According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden expressed the need to be more unscripted and in public more.

One of the people said Biden spoke of the need for more sleep and suggested he should avoid events that begin after 8 p.m. because they tend to go late, the report adds.

Harris is a strong contender to take his place if Biden were to drop out, though his allies believe he can still assuage the concerns of voters and donors.

Trump’s campaign and some of his allies have launched a pre-emptive political strike on Harris, moving swiftly to try to discredit her amid talk that she could eventually replace Biden as the Democrats’ nominee.

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