Inside the Biden Panic Room

joe biden debate
There’s already been much discussion about the fallout from President Biden’s halting performance against Donald Trump, and whether the Democratic party will stage an intervention to anoint a new nominee. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Minutes after the CNN presidential debate on Thursday night, Puck political columnists Peter Hamby and John Heilemann were joined by senior media correspondent Dylan Byers inside the recording booth to discuss the fallout from President Biden’s halting performance against Donald Trump, the Defcon-1 panic among Democrats and donors, the view from the spin room, and whether the party will stage an intervention to anoint a new nominee. The following transcript, originally an hourlong conversation for The Powers That Be and Impolitic With John Heilemann, has been edited for length. (You can find the full recording here or here.)


“He Has to Drop Out”

Joe Biden: Making sure that we’re able to make every single solitary person, uh, eligible for what I’ve been able to do with the Covid, excuse me, with dealing with everything we have to do with, uh, look… if… we finally beat Medicare…