Former Dem Presidential Candidate Bob Kerrey Calls Biden Campaign Fealty Demand a 'Mistake'

AP Photo/Nati Harnik,File

The national Democratic Party wasn't always dominated by the "progressive" socialists. My father always described himself as a Truman Democrat, although later in his life he generally voted for Republicans for president. The party used to contain people like Zell Miller, after all.

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Nebraska's Bob Kerrey was one of those moderate Democrats in his years as the Cornhusker State's governor, U.S. senator, and 1992 presidential candidate, and now he is expressing some annoyance with what appears to be a demand for unquestioning fealty from the Biden re-election campaign.

A familiar face of America’s past political landscape has criticized Joe Biden’s letter to his party and finds it more "harmful" than helpful for the 46th president.

"I read that letter," former Nebraska senator, governor and 1992 Democratic presidential candidate Bob Kerrey said on "The Claman Countdown" Monday.

"If I was a Democratic member of Congress, I'd call the White House and say, ‘You made a mistake. You don't send this letter out to us,’" he continued. "If I question [whether] you can defeat Donald Trump, I'm bad for democracy? It's blatantly untrue, it's self-serving and not helpful."

The letter itself appears to have been as Bob Kerrey describes:

On Monday morning, President Biden urged his colleagues to stop questioning whether he should end his re-election bid and "move forward as a unified party" in order to defeat former President Donald Trump in their 2024 election rematch.

Biden also reiterated that he's "firmly committed to staying in this race" and argued that any further questioning of his candidacy "only helps Trump and hurts us."

The president’s fitness for office has come into question following his rough debate performance a week and a half ago in his first face-to-face showdown with Trump.

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It's important to note that the president's fitness for office has been in question for months before the debate.


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On Monday, the president (or rather, his campaign) released a statement that appears to reflect what Governor Kerrey describes:

And the president, in a letter sent to congressional Democrats on Monday as they return from the July 4th holiday recess, reiterated that he's "firmly committed to staying in this race" and argued that any further questioning of his candidacy "only helps Trump and hurts us."

That's now how this works. The presidential nomination system, in either party, isn't a coronation process, as Hillary Clinton learned to her regret in 2008. And when a president who is running for reelection is visibly and inarguably impaired, his party is justified in challenging his decision not only to run for reelection but to continue in office. This is, after all, clearly a case that should transcend political considerations. We have an obviously impaired man who is the commander-in-chief of the world's most powerful military, who has the authority to order the use of nuclear weapons, and it is painfully obvious he should not be holding this vital office any longer. But the Biden campaign seems determined to stamp out any questioning of old Joe's fitness, much less his continuing his reelection campaign - or the presidency.

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Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, is maintaining a very uncharacteristically low profile, perhaps following the old military maxim, "When your enemy is in the process of making a fatal error, don't interfere."

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