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Nancy Pelosi urges Joe Biden to “make a decision” quickly on presidential race

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Veteran Democratic lawmaker Nancy Pelosi has called on Joe Biden to “make a decision” quickly on whether he will continue his quest for re-election, stopping short of endorsing his bid for a second term.

“It’s up to the president to decide whether he’s going to run or not. We all encourage him to make that decision because time is running out,” Pelosi, a former House speaker and one of the party’s most influential lawmakers, said during an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.

Pelosi’s comments will be a blow to Biden, who is trying to avoid a full-blown rebellion against his candidacy in the wake of his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump last month.

Biden told Democrats this week he was determined to continue his re-election campaign and secured the backing of several powerful lawmakers within the party.

Pelosi’s equivocal comments, however, suggested there was still deep unease among rank-and-file Democrats about whether she should remain in the presidential race.

Biden is scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday evening at the end of a NATO summit he is hosting in Washington this week, then head to Michigan on Friday for a campaign rally.

On MSNBC, Pelosi called on Democrats to hold off on airing their grievances in public until after the NATO summit in Washington this week. “Let this NATO conference deal with it … whatever you’re thinking, or you’re saying to somebody privately, but you don’t have to put it on the table until we see how we do this week,” she said.

One of the harshest criticisms of Biden’s continued campaign came on CNN Tuesday night from Michael Bennet, the Democratic senator from Colorado, who warned that Trump could win in a “landslide.”

“I’m sure President Biden has a different view of his prospects in this election than I do, but we should be debating that,” Bennet said. “And since that disastrous debate, I think the White House has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election.”

According to Fivethirtyeight.com’s average of national polls, Trump leads Biden by 2.1 percentage points, while Biden held a slim lead before the debate in late June. Trump also has an edge in the battleground states that will decide the election in November.

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