Beshear says he supports Biden as long as president remains in race

beshearandy kentucky 060624 AP

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said Monday he will support President Biden’s reelection bid as long as he remains the Democratic candidate, despite Biden’s “rough” performance in the first presidential debate Thursday night.

“The debate performance was rough. It was a very bad night for the president, but he is still the candidate. Only he can make decisions about his future candidacy. So as long as he continues to be in the race, I support him,” Beshear told reporters, in a clip posted by CBS News-affiliated WLKY.

Beshear secured his spot as a rising star in the Democratic party last November, when he won reelection in the deep-red state of Kentucky against his Republican opponent, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Beshear had been one of the most popular governors in the country, but his comfortable victory in 2023 fueled discussions about a future presidential bid.

In his remarks to reporters, Beshear avoided directly answering a question on whether he’s given any thought to replacing Biden, if the president changes his mind about running for a second term.

“Only the president can determine his future as a candidate,” Beshear told reporters. “He is the candidate, and as long as he is, I’m supporting him.”

When pressed again, Beshear said, “it’s flattering when people mention your name in something like that, but I think it’s a reflection of all the good things going on in Kentucky.”

The exchange comes as Biden’s shaky debate performance on Thursday has prompted discussion among some Democrats about possibly finding a new candidate to lead the Democratic ticket.

The Biden campaign has mounted a fierce effort to counter that narrative and quell any concerns about the president’s ability to lead the ticket.

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