President Joe Biden’s accusation that “elite” Democratic critics are out of step with his party appears to have provoked the New York Times editorial board, which is doubling down on its post-debate call for Biden to get out of the race.

In a piece published Tuesday that rebutted the president’s defense of his candidacy in recent days, the editorial board explicitly urged Democratic leadership to publicly call for Biden to step aside and coalesce around a new nominee in order to defeat former President Donald Trump. The board described the current “whisper campaign” in the party as an inadequate attempt to convince Biden to withdraw, calling him not only “defiant” and “floundering,” but “a man in decline” trying to circumvent the reality that he is a damaged candidate.

“[Democrats] need to tell [Biden] that he is embarrassing himself and endangering his legacy,” the editorial board wrote. “He needs to hear, plain and clear, that he is no longer an effective spokesman for his own priorities.”

In response to a request for comment, Biden campaign spokesperson Seth Schuster wrote: “The last time Joe Biden lost the New York Times editorial board’s endorsement it turned out pretty well for him.” The Times endorsed Biden for president in the 2020 general election but not in the Democratic primary.

The board’s reenergized version of its initial call for Biden to withdraw suggests that the columnists, donors and elected officials who have led the push against the president are not yet backing down — even after dozens of Democrats fell in line with Biden this week as he has taken on a more vigorous response to criticism and calls to end his reelection campaign. In a sign of strength, Biden on Monday reaffirmed the support of his most loyal base on the Hill, the Congressional Black Caucus. But Hill Democrats are still divided over Biden’s electability and the success of his attempts so far to turn his campaign around.

The board took aim at nearly every argument used by Biden and his allies in the past two weeks: Three years as president are more important than a 90-minute debate? “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” A rejection of Biden would ignore millions of primary voters? Democratic leaders should instead listen to the “much larger group” that has indicated concerns in polls. The drama over Biden is a distraction from defeating Trump? The necessity of victory is exactly why Americans are worried about Biden’s “decline,” the board wrote.

Most of all, Biden has not proven that his halting tone and hoarse voice during the debate were an aberration, the board added. The president’s “scripted and controlled” appearances, like his recent radio interviews, and his unscripted moments, like his ABC News sit-down, “offered little comfort,” it said. The piece did not endorse a specific candidate to replace Biden.

The board left little doubt that it was speaking directly to Democratic leadership, name dropping Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi while citing Rep. Don Beyer’s reported remarks to colleagues that the president “really has trouble putting two sentences together.”

“[Biden] is engaging in a staring contest with Democratic leaders, and he appears to be winning,” the board, which consists of 14 opinion writers, warned.

The board also expanded on several of its arguments from its original op-ed after the debate, which was one of the first to ask Biden to step aside. In its latest piece, it denounced Trump as a threat to democracy who has exhibited “cognitive deficiencies and incessant lying” but said those concerns were being drowned out by Biden’s refusal to accept the obvious limitations of his age.

“He does not seem to understand that he is now the problem — and that the best hope for Democrats to retain the White House is for him to step aside,” the board wrote.

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