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Biden makes Trump-style call to ‘Morning Joe,’ dares dismayed Democrats to ‘run against me’



Biden makes Trump-style call to ‘Morning Joe,’ dares dismayed Democrats to ‘run against me’

The president called in to his favorite morning cable news show Monday, bragging about his campaign crowd sizes and daring disgruntled “elites” in his own party to challenge him publicly.

Yes, we’re talking about Joe Biden.

The 81-year-old took a page from Republican rival Donald Trump’s playbook when he spoke on the phone to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in a bid to head off moves by Capitol Hill Democrats to force him out of the 2024 White House race.

President Biden needled Donald Trump for having fewer campaign appearances after the debate than he’s had. The Washington Post via Getty Images

“I’m getting so frustrated by the elites … in the party,” Biden said at one point, audibly shuffling papers to ensure he got all his talking points across. “With any of these guys who don’t think I should run — run against me.”

“Challenge me at the convention.”

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to be formally renominated later this month in a virtual roll call ahead of next month’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Elsewhere in the interview, Biden said he was “reading from the list of lies” supposedly uttered by Trump, 78, who has taken a clear lead in national and swing state polling since their June 27 debate in Atlanta.

Biden is reportedly a great fan of the MSNBC morning show, helmed by Joe Scarborough and wife Mika Brzezinski — in much the same way the 45th president considered Fox News Channel’s morning gabfest “Fox & Friends” appointment viewing.

The president admitted Monday that he regrets his debate performance, in which he repeatedly stumbled over words, lost his train of thought, and appeared an unhealthy shade of pale.

The president dared uneasy Democrats to challenge him. REUTERS

“Look at my career, and I have not had many of those nights. It was a terrible night, and I really regret it happened,” Biden admitted.

However, the president insisted that he was still fit to perform the duties of his office and tried to draw a contrast with Trump, who has largely kept out of sight since the debate.

“I’ve been out on the road so much all over the country, and while Trump is riding around in the golf cart,” said Biden, echoing Trump’s criticism of the Democrat for running a “basement campaign” in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “He hasn’t been anywhere in 10 days.”

What to know about the fallout from President Biden’s debate performance:

Biden also insisted that rank-and-file Democratic voters still want him in place — despite reams of public polling showing majorities want him to step aside.

“All the data — all the data, shows that the average Democrat out there who voted — 14 million of them voted for me — still want me to be the nominee,” he said, later bragging about the “large crowds and enthusiastic crowds” he drew.

The president reiterated one of his lines from a closely watched Friday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in response to a question from Brzezinski about whether he had been screened for neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.

President Biden is scrambling to reassure jittery Democrats that he’s up to the job. AFP via Getty Images

“I have a neurological test every single day,” he quipped.

The Post scooped over the weekend that Biden’s physician met with a Parkinson’s disease specialist earlier in the year. The White House noted that Biden underwent a Parkinson’s screening as part of his physical exam in February, which the administration said came back clean.

“Measure me [by] what I’ve done. And by the way, in terms of my neurological capacity, I had a physical, a neurological physical as well in February. It’s released.”

The Post cover story after President Biden’s debate performance last month.

The February summary from Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said that “an extremely detailed neurologic exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder.”

Biden’s call into MSNBC came moments after he sent a letter to congressional Democrats insisting that he is not dropping out.

At least eight Democratic members of the House have publicly called on Biden to give up his re-election bid, while more have expressed skepticism he will defeat Trump for a second time.

Trump used to frequent “Morning Joe” during the 2016 presidential cycle and called in periodically, before later having a falling out with the anchors.

After the CNN debate, Scarborough appeared to sour on Biden and implied that Democrats should rethink having him atop the ticket.

“This is a last chance for Democrats to decide whether this man we’ve known and loved for a very long time is up to the task of running for president of the United States,” Scarborough said the day after the Atlanta forum.

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