Bob Casey stands by Biden as other battleground Senate Democrats keep their distance

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Senate Democrats fighting for re-election successful battleground states aren’t expressing overmuch assurance successful President Joe Biden arsenic he faces calls to withdraw from nan race.

Some person said they uncertainty he will triumph if he remains connected nan ballot. Others person stayed silent aliases not appeared alongside him astatine run events.

Bob Casey has been an exception.

The longtime Pennsylvania legislator joined different members of nan state’s legislature delegation to shake hands Biden astatine nan Philadelphia airdrome connected Sunday, earlier attending religion pinch him successful a predominantly Black neighborhood. And Casey has batted down suggestions from colleagues that Biden is astatine consequence of suffering a “landslide” defeat.

“No,” Casey told reporters connected Wednesday erstwhile asked astir Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., making specified a proposal nan time before. Asked why he’s assured successful Biden’s chances, Casey said, “It’s conscionable my view.”

Last week, successful his first nationalist appearances since nan June debate, Casey acknowledged Biden “had a bad nighttime and debate, but I deliberation group cognize what’s astatine stake.”

“I’ve been astatine this a while, and I cognize his work,” Casey told reporters. “And I besides cognize that nan American group and nan group of Pennsylvania are going to attraction connected these races successful nan measurement that I conscionable outlined.”

Casey’s support has not been arsenic full-throated arsenic that of immoderate of his Democratic colleagues who are not locked successful re-election battles this year, specified arsenic John Fetterman, his chap Pennsylvania senator. 

But Casey’s willingness to guidelines by nan president arsenic he fights for governmental endurance offers him a boost successful nan captious plaything state, and signals that Pennsylvania Democrats whitethorn not beryllium arsenic consenting to ditch nan president arsenic immoderate different members of nan party.

In fact, nary 1 successful nan Pennsylvania Democratic delegation has surgery publically pinch Biden successful nan 2 weeks since his disastrous statement capacity against erstwhile President Donald Trump. That has added value arsenic nan Biden run said successful a Thursday memo that they will progressively thin connected nan “Blue Wall” states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — to effort and propulsion retired a win.

Pennsylvania Democratic operatives said they felt Casey was risking small successful sticking by Biden. They pointed retired Casey outran then-President Barack Obama successful nan authorities successful 2012 and easy won his 2018 race.

Casey, whose begetter served arsenic politician decades ago, has an established marque successful nan state, and Pennsylvania Democrats said that will only thief him get crossed nan decorativeness statement this autumn successful a title wherever he presently outpolls some Biden and his opponent, Republican business executive Dave McCormick. And though polling averages presently show Trump pinch an separator successful Pennsylvania, Democrats said nan erstwhile president and his friends person suffered up and down nan ballot successful nan authorities successful each predetermination rhythm since his daze 2016 win.

“He has a beautiful established marque successful a authorities that is large capable that it’s reliable to get known,” J.J. Balaban, a Democratic operative based successful Pennsylvania, said. “So he’s astir apt not worried astir having to beryllium that he’s independent of Joe Biden.”

Biden besides has a deeper individual narration pinch Casey than different front-line Senate Democrats. They’ve known each different for decades arsenic Biden, a Pennsylvania native, agelong embraced nan explanation of being nan state’s “third senator.” During nan State of nan Union reside successful March, Casey earned a shout-out from Biden, who urged Congress to “pass Bobby Casey’s measure to put a extremity to shrinkflation.”

“Look, Casey is personification who has known nan president for a agelong time,” a Pennsylvania Democratic operative said nether nan information of anonymity. “[Biden is] evidently personification who he’s worked pinch for a agelong time. And that’s a show of who he is arsenic nan personification that erstwhile nan going gets tough, he’s not conscionable going to backmost distant aliases travel nan punditry for an contiguous guidance to something.”

Though it’s still early, Democrats successful nan authorities opportunity they haven’t seen efforts to deed Casey complete opinionated by Biden breaking done pinch nan electorate yet. 

But Republicans are ramping up their attack. Soon aft nan debate, McCormick’s run launched a digital ad backed by a five-figure bargain titled “Bob Casey knew,” hitting nan legislator for talking up Biden’s expertise to service arsenic president. In a news release, nan run said Casey was “sticking pinch Joe Biden while different Dems scramble for cover.”

“There’s cipher successful nan Senate person to President Biden than Bob Casey,” McCormick said successful an interview. “They’ve known each different for 30 years, they talked astir each different arsenic bully friends, champion buddies, each this stuff. So he’s campaigned pinch him dozens of times complete nan past 24 months. So what Bob Casey’s fundamentally saying is he has nary concerns, nary worries, moreover arsenic many, galore Democrats — elder group successful nan Democratic Party — galore senators are distancing themselves.”

McCormick said either Casey “sees nary cognitive decline” aliases is “part of this basal conspiracy of soundlessness wherever you person group rallying astir Biden to protect him for purely governmental purposes.”

“I can’t ideate he doesn’t spot nan decline,” McCormick said. “He’s riding pinch Biden. … That’s who he’s sewage a 30-year narration with.”

When asked astir Biden’s mediocre opinionated successful nan polls, Casey connected Tuesday took purpose astatine McCormick, saying his day-to-day attraction is connected making judge “people cognize nan quality betwixt my force and me,” expressing eagerness to spell aft McCormick’s business record and questions astir his residency.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Casey declined to connection Biden immoderate proposal connected really he should grip nan increasing calls for him to time off nan race.

“I don’t springiness proposal to candidates because I don’t for illustration getting it myself from different candidates,” he quipped. “It’s benignant of my rule.”

As Casey has stood by Biden and rallied pinch him, his colleagues person often taken different path. 

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., did not attend an arena pinch nan president past week successful her location state. Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, 2 of nan astir susceptible Democrats facing re-election this fall, voiced concerns that Biden couldn’t triumph astatine a closed-door Democratic argumentation luncheon this week, a root acquainted pinch nan chat said.  And The New York Times reported that Rep. Elissa Slotkin, nan odds-on favourite to beryllium nan Democratic Senate nominee successful Michigan, told donors that Biden was falling down successful her state.

“I don’t understand why everyone isn’t going to beryllium proud to run pinch nan president,” Fetterman, who attended nan religion arena pinch Biden and Casey past weekend, told NBC News connected Tuesday, adding he was “proud” to run alongside Biden successful nan 2022 midterms, erstwhile galore felt nan president would resistance down Democrats. “And we won by 5 points.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., who was besides successful attendance for Biden’s Philadelphia run event, declined to remark connected really Casey should grip nan governmental maelstrom engulfing Biden, but said he was “confident” nan legislator would beryllium re-elected.

As for Biden, Boyle was successful alignment pinch his legislature delegation.

“I’m ever proud to guidelines pinch him successful agleam days and stormy days,” he told NBC News connected Tuesday. “He has an fantabulous grounds that will spell down successful nan history books. He’s besides a individual friend and I wanted to particularly make judge that I was location pinch him connected Sunday.”

Asked Tuesday why he was consenting to run pinch Biden complete nan weekend, Casey offered a short reply arsenic a Senate elevator doorway closed.

“I’ve done truthful before,” he said.

Allan Smith

Allan Smith is simply a governmental newsman for NBC News.

Bridget Bowman

Bridget Bowman is simply a nationalist governmental newsman for NBC News.

Sahil Kapur


Frank Thorp V



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