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Fetterman leads post-debate charge to keep Biden on the Democratic ticket

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Fetterman was surrounded by reporters as he went up the escalator to the U.S. Capitol to join the weekly Senate Democratic lunch and discuss the concerns surrounding President Joe Biden since his debate performance last month.

“I'm going to suggest maybe we can encourage Joe Biden to ... become consumed with revenge and say crazy things and have a plan for 2025,” Fetterman told the posse, referring to former President Donald Trump.

As other Democrats call on Biden to end his campaign or anguish over his chances of winning in November because of his age, Fetterman has emerged as the president's most outspoken and ardent defender on Capitol Hill.

“If you’re ever in a foxhole, you want him with you,” Biden said of Fetterman during the president's visit to Harrisburg on Sunday.

A day later, he told CNN: “He’s going to be our guy. That’s our guy. Joe Biden has been a great president ... and I'm not going to chuck him for a rough debate.”

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., a member of the president's campaign advisory board, said she appreciated Fetterman’s backing. “He’s a man of the people and he’s saying it like it is,” she said.

Pennsylvania's senior Democratic senator, Bob Casey, also stood by Biden even as other Democrats say he should step aside.

“He had a bad night and debate, but I think people know what's at stake,” Casey said in Scranton last week.

U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Aspinwall, speaking while visiting Pittsburgh International Airport earlier this month, said that Trump also had a tough debate.

“As much as it was a tough night, I think I also heard Donald Trump lie probably 30 times,” he said. “I heard him say you won't commit to respecting the election results. I continue to think he's a significant threat to our freedom, to this democracy.”

And U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-Swissvale, said the Democrats don't have the luxury of time to wait to make a decision on whether Biden should remain the race, and if he decides to withdraw, Vice President Kamala Harris is the “obvious choice.”

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