Biden to meet with Democratic governors as White House works to shore up support

President Biden plans to hold a meeting with Democratic governors Wednesday, CBS News has learned, as the White House and his reelection campaign work to shore up support for him after last week’s shaky debate performance. Some will attend in person, while others will attend virtually.

The meeting comes as the White House and Biden campaign work to keep Democratic governors and other elected Democrats in the fold after his rocky debate.

The meeting is notable because up until this point, it’s mostly been Mr. Biden’s top aides and advisers who have been reaching out to elected Democrats to reassure them after his debate performance. His meeting with governors comes after members of the Democratic Governors’ Association held a call Monday to discuss the ongoing response to Thursday’s debate and a widespread concern among the state chief executives that Mr. Biden has done little outreach to governors, specifically over the course of the campaign year, according to two people familiar with arrangements for the call.

The Biden campaign had been trying to arrange time for Vice President Harris to speak with governors, but the governors decided Monday they wanted to hear directly from the president.

“They’d like to hear from him directly before going and sticking out their necks for him again,” said one of the people familiar with the plan, granted anonymity to speak frankly about them.

In the days since the debate, just New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy — who hosted one of the fundraisers the president and first lady attended over the weekend in the New York area — is the only known governor to have spoken directly to Mr. Biden since the debate.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters Monday that “the debate performance was rough,” but that he will continue to support Mr. Biden “so long as he continues to be in the race.” Beshear added that Mr. Biden is the candidate, and “only he can make decisions about his candidacy.” 

On “Face the Nation” Sunday, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore was more emphatic in his support, insisting that “Joe Biden is our nominee. Joe Biden is our leader.”

Beshear, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — all governors who have been floated to replace the president if he were to step down as the presumptive Democratic nominee — co-headlined a fundraiser in Los Angeles for Mr. Biden last Thursday evening. The event was a multi-million dollar affair that put potential future presidential aspirants in a room full of donors who could bankroll their future campaigns.

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