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Jill Biden says she is fully committed to Biden’s re-election as he again insists he will not give up the race

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden said Monday she fully supports President Joe Biden’s bid to remain the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, even as some Democrats called for him to withdraw after his damaging debate performance against Donald Trump shook their confidence in him.

The president himself rejected these demands and reiterated on Monday that he would not drop out of the race.

“Despite all the rumors about this campaign, Joe has made it clear that he is fully committed,” the First Lady told a military crowd in Wilmington, North Carolina, the first of the three swing states she visited.

“This is the decision he made, and just as he has always supported my career, I am fully on board,” said Jill Biden, a professor at a community college who teaches English and writing.

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Their day-long tour was part of the Biden campaign’s broader effort to rebound from the president’s sluggish performance against Trump in last month’s debate.

The debate led some congressional Democrats and others to call on him to allow another candidate to challenge Trump because they no longer believed the 81-year-old president was mentally and physically capable of defeating the former Republican president in November.

During further visits on Monday to Tampa, Florida, and Columbus, Georgia, Jill Biden also announced the creation of an organization called “Veterans and Military Families for Biden-Harris.”

The president has stressed since the June 27 debate that he is staying in the race, a sentiment he reiterated Monday in a letter to congressional Democrats and during an on-air phone interview with MSNBC.

Jill Biden used her appearance to highlight differences between her husband’s and Trump’s attitudes toward U.S. soldiers, veterans and their families.

The president’s late son, Beau, served in Iraq as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard, and the first lady’s father was a Navy signalman in World War II.

“This affects us personally,” she said, describing the wait times to get through to a soldier stationed overseas by phone or having to smile at the absence of a loved one on holidays.

“Let me ask you this… Does Donald Trump know what this is like?” she said.

The First Lady mentioned reports that Trump called military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice “suckers” and “losers” during a 2018 trip to France. Trump denies making those comments.

“It’s a disgrace, but not surprising,” she said. And noting that the Supreme Court has declared presidents immune from prosecution for acts committed while in office, the First Lady said, “Our democracy cannot tolerate a President Trump who knows virtually no boundaries.”

“The members of our military uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do the same,” she said. “They deserve a commander in chief who will serve with integrity, wisdom and character, and that is my husband, Joe Biden.”

A spokesman for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

During the debate, Biden and Trump argued over who cares most about veterans. Biden mentioned that he recently visited an American military cemetery in France, the final resting place for U.S. soldiers who fought in World War I. Trump did not visit that cemetery during his 2018 trip.

Trump claimed during the debate that the Democratic president was coddling migrants and neglecting the needs of veterans and military personnel, and he blamed Biden for the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Follow AP’s coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

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