Breaking News: Trump Returns to Campaign Trail, Biden Resolute in Race, NATO Summit
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Breaking News: Trump Returns to Campaign Trail, Biden Resolute in Race, NATO Summit

Breaking News: Trump Returns to Campaign Trail, Biden Resolute in Race, NATO Summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is returning to the campaign trail at his flagship Miami golf resort as Democrats face tough choices over President Joe Biden’s re-election chances.

Since his dismal debate performance, Democrats have grappled with whether Biden, 81, should remain the party’s nominee. As worried congressional Democrats returned to Washington, weighing whether to work to revive his campaign or try to oust him, Biden on Monday staunchly resisted calls to drop out of the race.

Against the backdrop of intense political drama, NATO leaders have been gathering in Washington since Tuesday for a summit that will mark the organization’s 75th anniversary. The summit’s primary goal is to bolster NATO leaders’ support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, but for Biden, the summit has become as much a demonstration that he can meet the demands of the presidency for another four years.

Follow AP’s 2024 election coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024

Follow AP’s coverage of the NATO summit: https://apnews.com/hub/nato

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House Democratic leader still in listening mode

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries is still in listening mode as his party considers Biden’s political future.

“Today was a meeting of the parliamentary group, where members had the opportunity to express their views in a frank and comprehensive way. These discussions will continue throughout the rest of the week,” Jeffries said.

Mental fitness or moral fitness?

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont supports Biden but says he worries the election will be dominated by debates about Biden’s mental health.

Lamont was one of the first governors to endorse Biden in the 2020 election.

He told reporters Tuesday that Biden is “just starting to implement his agenda.”

Lamont, however, admitted that Biden’s candidacy raises concerns.

“I’m afraid we’ll be talking about President Biden’s mental health all the time, but we’re not going to fight Donald Trump by talking about his moral health,” he said.

Harris Leads Campaign to Reach Asian American Voters

Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Las Vegas on Tuesday with former “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi.

It’s the beginning of a formal outreach campaign to Asian American voters that President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is launching this week.

Harris is the first person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president.

On Saturday, she will also deliver the opening keynote address at a town hall meeting in Philadelphia hosted by the activist group APIAVote.

The Biden campaign has already launched coalition groups focused on Black and Latino voters.

Gloomy room

One person at the meeting described the Democrats’ meeting as somber.

There is growing concern that if Biden remains in the race, the election will center around Biden’s age, not Trump’s, according to the person, who was granted anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

But the same person told the AP that Democrats fear Biden is irreplaceable because he is so self-absorbed.

Replacing a candidate so close to an election could pose legal challenges.

Fighting Spirit, but will he be able to win?

Some Democrats who have publicly called on the president to resign have expressed greater urgency than before, but not all.

“The fighting spirit, the pride and the courage that served this country so well four years ago, that helped Joe Biden win, will drag the result down this time,” said Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois.

“He has to resign because he can’t win,” Quigley said.

But Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York apparently changed his mind after previously saying privately that Biden should go.

“He will be our candidate and we all have to support him,” Nadler said.

Not even in this

the same book

Democrats had mixed reviews about the nearly two-hour conversation, with some saying the party was united and others saying they were even more concerned.

Rep. Steven Cohen of Tennessee had a memorable response when reporters asked him if the session had put the party on the same page.

“We’re not even in the same book,” Cohen said.

Others, such as Rep. Gregory Meeks, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the faction was united and supported Biden as its nominee.

Next up are the mayors

I support Biden

The president intends to continue personal contacts with various factions of the Democratic Party on Tuesday evening.

There will be a virtual meeting with mayors across the country, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Biden plans to give a speech and answer questions from mayors.

It’s a similar format to the one used Monday in calls with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and campaign donors.

Yellen says Biden is very effective in meetings

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday expressed support for Biden’s actions.

During a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, a Republican member of Congress asked her if she had noticed any “cognitive or mental decline.”

“The president has been extraordinarily effective in the meetings I’ve had with him,” Yellen responded.

“This includes many multi-hour international meetings, such as those with President Xi.”

She said there had been no discussion among Cabinet secretaries about invoking the 25th Amendment. That amendment deals with removing the president.

Harris goes to Vegas

Vice President Kamala Harris took off from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Tuesday and headed west to attend a series of campaign events in Las Vegas.

Harris will meet with voters in Las Vegas and Dallas this week to mobilize them.

She is facing particular interest from Democrats who are considering her as a candidate to succeed Biden, who has resisted calls to resign.

Democrats Meet for a ‘Family’ Chat

House Democrats gathered Tuesday morning for a “family” discussion behind closed doors.

Tensions remain high surrounding the 2024 election and President Joe Biden’s candidacy.

No cellphones. No leaks. Exactly what Caucus Chairman Rep. Pete Aguilar called family chat among lawmakers.

Biden supporters have been the most active so far in the hour-plus conversation. But discontent remains behind the scenes.

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