Who would lead if US stepped off world stage? asks Biden


PTI, Apr 24, 2024, 9:19 AM IST

Washington: If the United States stepped off the world stage, who would lead the world, US President Joe Biden asked his fellow countrymen as he slammed his November challenger for making such an argument.

“Think of it this way — if the United States stepped off the world stage, like Trump wants us to do, who would lead the world? Who would lead the world?” Biden asked the gathering at a campaign event in Tampa, Florida.

Biden is facing his predecessor, Donald Trump, in the November presidential election, which is a rematch of the 2020 polls.

“One of the things that is happening now is that … every international meeting I attend with other heads of state — whether it is the G7, the G20, all these international meetings — before I leave, literally, almost every one will walk up to me and wait to get me in a corner alone and grab my arm and say, ‘You have got to win’. Not because of me, but because of the alternative. And they say, ‘Because my democracy depends upon it’, meaning their democracy,” Biden said.

“So the whole world is looking, and they are looking to see how we handle ourselves in this election — not just on whether we win or not, but how we handle ourselves. One of the things that for me, I got involved when I was a kid in electoral politics out of the Civil Rights Movement. It all got down to one person at a time organising,” the president said.

Biden told his supporters that his campaign is doing great and has raised nearly half a billion USD so far.

“I am really excited. We have raised almost a half a billion dollars so far. But here is what excites me — so far, we have 1.6 million (16 lakh) contributors, 550,000 more than we had last time at this stage of the game. But here is the deal — of those 1.6 million contributors, 97 per cent contributed less than $200. Think of all the numbers that means,” he said.

The incumbent also said he is ahead of Trump in recent polls. ‘In the last 23 national polls, I have been ahead in 10 of them, Trump has been ahead in eight and we have been tied in five. More importantly, the momentum is clearly in our favour. For example, we moved eight points in the latest Marquette poll and seven points in the Echelon poll. And the Marist poll now has us up by three nationwide,’ he said.

“The point I am making is, people are beginning to listen. This is a time people begin to focus and listen. They have generic impressions up to now, but now they are listening,” he said.

At the beginning of his remarks, Biden saw kids in the crowd and approached two elementary school-aged boys who were standing to his right. He lowered the microphone, got close and whispered to them. After that he looked around to his staff and said, “You know what to do, right?” Then he crossed the room over to two similarly-aged girls and whispered to them too. The president apparently whispered to the children about making sure that their parents get them ice cream. At the end of his remarks, he again told the kids to remember what he promised.

Biden said Florida is in play nationally. “This election is a basic, old-fashioned election,” he said.

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