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    President Biden’s recent struggles should be a wake-up call for Democrats, says Rep. Lou Correa
    • July 9, 2024

    While Democrats are wrestling with whether to support — publicly or even privately — President Joe Biden in his re-election quest, Rep. Lou Correa said, in no uncertain terms, that he’s sticking with Biden.

    “I’m with Biden,” Correa said during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

    Unwaveringly positive, Correa also argued that all the tension surrounding Biden’s re-election bid will actually net positive for Democrats and Biden by the time the dust settles on the November election.

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    Congressional Democrats privately huddled early Tuesday where much of the discussion centered on whether Biden could or should continue running for a second term following his disastrous debate performance last month. Since that televised debate, where Biden, 81, stumbled verbally and appeared at times to lose his train of thought, the president has faced mounting questions about his health and mental competency.

    The meeting of House Democrats away from the Capitol on Tuesday has been described as a “venting session,” where the conversation was “dour” and “sad.”

    Correa, who represents California’s 46th congressional district in Orange County, said many lawmakers spoke both in support of the president as well as against him. And while he didn’t speak during the meeting, Correa said he’s sticking by Biden’s side while also acknowledging he’s struggled a bit recently.

    To put it in football terms, Biden “did have a bad first quarter. He got sacked in his own end zone,” said Correa. “But I want to see what the quarterback does after getting sacked. And he’s starting to move the ball, starting to drive and pick up steam again. That’s what I expected from Joe Biden.”

    But it’s good that Democrats are hammering out this drama now, Correa said, rather than right before Election Day.

    “It really has shocked Democrats into knowing that now we have a real race,” he said. “I think this is good. You don’t want to wake up on Nov. 1 and say, ‘Oh my God, this thing is a real race.’ You want to wake up in early July … because it gives you time to work hard, and Democrats have never been afraid to work hard.”

    “This is a wake-up call,” said Correa. “We are going to have to work really hard to keep the presidency.”

    Not every Democrat shares Correa’s optimism, however.

    Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a military veteran who represents a district in New Jersey, became on Tuesday the seventh House Democrat to ask Biden publicly to abandon his re-election plans.

    “I realize this is hard, but we have done hard things in pursuit of democracy since the founding of this nation. It is time to do so again,” she said in a lengthy statement that also praised Biden for his public service over the years.

    So far, none of Orange County’s House Democrats has called on Biden to set aside his campaign — but others haven’t aligned themselves in Biden’s corner quite as much as Correa has.

    “I have great respect and admiration for President Biden and all that we’ve accomplished together,” said Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano. “I will give President Biden and his closest advisors some time to assess the best path forward and will respect the decision they make. My focus will remain on delivering results for my district, as it has always been, despite the political noise.”

    A spokesperson for Levin said the congressman stood by that statement following Tuesday’s meeting.

    Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, slammed former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, calling him a “pathological liar” in a statement last week. Biden, she said, “is the most accomplished president of the last 50 years, taking action on prescription drug prices, manufacturing jobs, antitrust, climate and consumer protection.”

    “If President Biden removes himself from consideration, we should have a democratic process to select a new nominee,” said Porter, who will depart Congress at the end of her term this year. “Democrats have a deep, talented bench, and an open process would help us energize the electorate and build momentum to beat Donald Trump.”

    Biden plans to head to Orange County for a fundraiser later this month in Laguna Beach. It’s unclear which, if any, of Orange County’s House Democrats will attend the event on July 26; it’s more than two weeks away and schedules have not been set.

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