July 10, 2024, presidential debate and election news

SPLIT donald trump joe biden
Election forecaster made a big change in their prediction. See Biden supporter's response
01:58 - Source: CNN

What we covered here

  • Many anxious Democrats waiting to see what happens to President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign have been stunned by developments over the past 24 hours.
  • Vermont Sen. Peter Welch became the first Democrat in the chamber to publicly call on Biden to step aside, a day after Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said he doesn’t believe the president is capable of winning reelection. Several House Democrats have also called on Biden to drop out along with megadonor George Clooney.
  • The president and his aides have remained adamant that he will stay in the race, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reiterated his support, responding to a report saying he suggested to donors that he’d be open to dumping Biden from the ticket.
  • The Republican National Convention, where the GOP will nominate Trump as its presidential candidate, kicks off next week in Milwaukee. The convention’s platform committee has overwhelmingly passed the new Trump-aligned Republican platform, which softened the party’s language on abortion, a source told CNN.
  • Read up on the campaign promises from Biden and Trump. Track the latest 2024 campaign news here and see our voter guide here.
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Democratic delegate says he received call from Biden campaign to "remind him of his responsibilities"

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the 2024 NATO Summit in Washington, DC on July 10.

A Democratic delegate from California told CNN on Wednesday that he received a call from an aide working to reelect President Joe Biden that he interpreted as an effort to “shut down any further discussion” among Democratic delegates about replacing the president. 

The delegate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the call, said he spoke with an official who identified himself as part of the “Biden-Harris delegate operations” team, and said the official called to remind him of his responsibilities as “a Biden-Harris pledged delegate.”  

The delegate, who has also served as a delegate in previous Democratic conventions, said he told the campaign official he was aware of his obligations. 

The delegate said he’d spoken to another delegate from California who received a similar call from the same campaign staffer. He said the official told him he was reaching out to all the California Democratic delegates. But he found the call “unsettling” given that he’d shared concerns about Biden’s candidacy with other delegates. 

A request for comment to the Biden campaign was referred to a spokesperson for the Democratic National Convention who told CNN that while they didn’t have any information on the specific calls referenced by the delegate, “the Democratic National Convention Committee has been engaging regularly with state parties and their delegations in a variety of ways beginning in 2023.”

CNN’s Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker heard saying "I don't like where we are" in apparent reference to election

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker speaks during a Biden-Harris 2024 campaign press conference in Miami, Florida, on November 7, 2023.

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker was heard Wednesday saying, “I don’t like where we are,” in what appeared to be a reference to the presidential election.

During an event on community violence intervention in Chicago, Pritzker was heard on a nearby microphone during an exchange about how he feels about “everything.”

“I mean, we’re just going to keep fighting, I don’t know what to say,” Pritzker answered. “You know, gotta go what we have to do.”

Jordan Abudayyeh, deputy chief of communications for Pritzker’s office, told CNN affiliate WBBM that it “sounds like (Pritzker) was talking about the state of the presidential race.”

CNN has also reached out to Pritzker’s office for comment.

Speaking directly to reporters on Wednesday, Pritzker said of Biden:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says "it wouldn’t hurt" for Biden to take cognitive test

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers remarks at the SelectUSA Investment Summit  in National Harbor, Maryland, on May 4.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday “it wouldn’t hurt” for President Joe Biden to take a cognitive test, a move that could quell mounting concerns over his mental fitness following a poor debate performance in June.

While Whitmer acknowledged that the debate was “not a great success” for Biden, she pushed back on calls for the president to step aside from his 2024 campaign.

“We have a field, and unless one person, Joe Biden, makes an alternative decision, this is the field, and we’ve got to go,” Whitmer said.

The governor’s comments come as Democrats wrestle with the potential for Biden’s reelection bid to hurt the party in down-ballot races this fall.

Read more about Whitmer’s comments

Sen. Coons downplays Pelosi's comments suggesting Biden needs to decide on his political future

Sen. Chris Coons speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on July 08.

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware attempted to tamp down comments Wednesday from Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi that suggested President Joe Biden needs to decide on his political future, saying that she wasn’t urging him to make another decision.

The former Speaker told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “it’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run. We’re all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short.”

“He’s gonna be our nominee at the convention. He is gonna be our candidate for president in the fall. He is going to be our next president of the United States,” Coons reiterated. 

“I think Nancy Pelosi is fully capable of speaking clearly if she thinks that he should make a different decision.” 

Asked if he has spoken to Biden and how he feels about congressional members reactions, Coons said that after the debate, Biden spoke to lawmakers in search of input and “he was optimistic that he could turn this around and still win.”

“Joe Biden’s never been a flawless, smooth and perfect speaker, but he’s always spoken from the heart,” Coons said. “What my colleagues needed to see was him engaging and fighting and that’s what they’re seeing.”

Johnson reacts to Pelosi comments on Biden, says Democrats are in "total disarray"

House Speaker Mike Johnson speaks during a House Republican Leadership news conference at the US Capitol on July 9.

House Speaker Mike Johnson said that Democrats are in “total disarray” in reaction to his predecessor Nancy Pelosi’s comments surrounding her support for President Joe Biden.

Pelosi, in comments that raised fresh concerns about Biden’s support among Democrats, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday that “it’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run. We’re all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short.”

Johnson also said that NATO leaders meeting in Washington are “deeply concerned.” 

“All those NATO leaders are here on the hill, as you know, these foreign leaders are coming in — prime ministers, heads of state — and they are telling us privately that they’re deeply concerned a weak America is bad for the whole world and we’re not projecting strength,” Johnson said.

Democrats stunned by how rapidly things have unraveled for Biden in the last 24 hours

President Joe Biden speaks as he hosts a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Keir Starmer (out of frame) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on July 10.

Many anxious Democrats who have been holding their breath and waiting to see what happens to President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign have been stunned by the past 24 hours.

One widely shared view had been that everything was likely to come to a head after this week’s NATO conference that the US is hosting just blocks away from the White House. Instead, a series of devastating headlines have come out in rapid succession as Biden has been juggling various engagements on the global stage.

Here’s what’s happened in recent days:

  • Formal meetings to discuss Biden’s fate yielded no party consensus.
  • Nine House Democrats and one Democratic senator have publicly called on the president to step aside.
  • Others, including Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, have urged Biden to reconsider his bid, raising concerns about the viability of his campaign.
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi said, “It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run” — even though Biden has remained adamant that he will stay in the race — leading some colleagues who privately do not believe Biden should seek a second term to see the former speaker’s comment as a welcome opening.

Trouble may continue.

When Biden heads to Michigan on Friday, swing-district Rep. Elissa Slotkin will not be appearing alongside him. And Slotkin declined to say Wednesday night whether she still supported him.

Chuck Schumer reiterates his support for Biden

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer arrives for weekly Democratic Party luncheons at the US Capitol on July 9.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reiterated his support for President Joe Biden Wednesday night, following a report saying he suggested to donors that he’d be open to dumping Biden from the ticket.

Democratic superdelegate raises doubts about Biden being best candidate

Democratic superdelegate Bart Dame speaks to CNN on July 10.

A Democratic superdelegate appeared conflicted about supporting President Joe Biden on CNN Wednesday as he has recounted hearing from many people wary of supporting the president’s reelection.

Following Biden’s poor debate performance last month, Bart Dame said he “started getting phone calls, text messages emails, I get stopped on the street — or since I’m in Hawaii, stopped on the beach — and people say, what can we do to save this situation?”

Dame, a Democratic National Committee Convention delegate and Hawaii committeeman, is a “superdelegate,” a group of about 700 senior party leaders and elected officials who are automatically delegates to the convention based on their position.

If Biden was to drop out of the campaign during this point in the election process, individual delegates would need to select the party’s nominee on the convention floor (or, potentially, during a virtual roll call). Those delegates are approved by the Biden administration and, as CNN has reported, have largely stuck by the president’s side in the aftermath of the debate. Dame, as a superdelegate, can’t vote on the first ballot when delegates are picking a candidate during the convention if the superdelegates could swing the nomination, but they’re free to vote on subsequent ballots, according to party rules.

Sen. John Fetterman says it would be a disgrace to push Biden off the ticket

President Joe Biden, right, listens as Sen. John Fetterman speaks at a campaign office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 7.

On the heels of Vermont Sen. Peter Welch becoming the first Democratic senator to call on President Joe Biden to step aside, Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman told CNN that Welch is “a good friend” but he strongly disagrees with him.

Biden is “the only person to ever beat Trump’s ass in an election,” Fetterman told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “Outfront.”

As Democrats try to figure out the best path forward amid growing calls for Biden to reconsider his campaign, Fetterman said it “will be a disgrace to discard and push out an amazing president.”

Fetterman added that he has Biden’s back 100% and advised him to stay in the race “if that’s what you believe.”

The senator’s comments come as top Biden campaign officials are set to meet with Senate Democrats Thursday to address their concerns about Biden’s ability to lead the ticket.

“I’m showing up tomorrow with brass knuckles,” Fetterman said.