NBC’s Welker Downplayed Biden Cognitive Concerns Before Dem Revolt

The proverbial dam was showing some major cracks on Wednesday as more and more Democrats were publicly raising concerns or flat-out calling for President Biden to step aside and leave the race. The flat spin the Biden campaign found itself in provided for a major opportunity to expose how the liberal media had attempted damage control before things really went into freefall. For instance, NBC Meet the Press moderator Kristen Welker snapped at a Republican for questioning Biden’s mental acuity, before later marveling at Democratic Party panic.

As NewsBusters’ Jorge Bonilla reported on Sunday, Welker interrupted North Dakota Republican Governor Doug Burgum when he warned that “we’re at a greater national security risk today than we were on Thursday because the Commander-in-Chief showed that he’s not capable of serving.”

“Well, there’s no proof of that,” Welker interjected before pivoting to what Trump said during the debate, “but Governor, let me just ask you about the debate and a little bit more of what we saw. By one count, Donald Trump made more than 30 false claims during that debate.”

Welker’s dismissiveness of Biden’s condition all but evaporated by Wednesday. During a conversation with anchor Craig Melvin, Welker marveled at the “unprecedented moment” and “wave of panic” inside the Democratic Party:

MELVIN: How concerned is this White House that this is not something that’s going to go away?

WELKER: There are deep concerns, Craig, and this is just an unprecedented moment with the president frankly facing more pressure by the day. Look, Democrats, as you say, they’ve defended President Biden over concerns about his age but things clearly changed since the debate. There’s just been a wave of panic within the party based on my conversations and it is significant that those cracks are starting to emerge that you just saw Gabe map out. But the question is, will the pressure be enough for the president to step aside?

For his final question, Melvin essentially asked Welker to give the White House advice on how to triage the situation. “Beyond that, Kristen, what else can the White House do? What else should the White House be doing to try and, and, and ease some of these concerns?” he wondered.

“They’ve got to be out front on all of this,” she declared, “and it’s just hard to overstate the level of the crisis that they’re dealing with given the pressure from their own party.”

Welker went on to hype the White House’s efforts to fight back against those expressing concerns and those insisting Biden step aside:

Look, I’ve been talking to officials at the White House overnight within the campaign. They are defiant Craig. They say they are prepared to keep fighting. They tout the fact that they raised $38 million since that debate and you’ll see today that all staff meeting at the White House, the president himself will be addressing governors, addressing their concerns all across the country.

“Polls show that the top issue for voters still the economy, still the border, not the issue of democracy, although it’s still is an important one,” she huffed. “So, this is just a pivotal moment that we are watching Craig.”

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

NBC’s Today
July 3, 2024
7:12:02 a.m. Eastern

CRAIG MELVIN: Let’s bring in Kristen Welker now, moderator of Meet the Press for a little bit more analysis here. So Kristen, you’ve got the congressman down in Texas voicing concerns, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi also acknowledging that these questions about the performance — debate performance are legitimate. It seems as if Democrats were whispering in the days after and now they’re starting to say these things out loud. They’re going on television. How concerned is this White House that this is not something that’s going to go away?

KRISTEN WELKER: There are deep concerns, Craig, and this is just an unprecedented moment with the president frankly facing more pressure by the day. Look, Democrats, as you say, they’ve defended President Biden over concerns about his age but things clearly changed since the debate. There’s just been a wave of panic within the party based on my conversations and it is significant that those cracks are starting to emerge that you just saw Gabe map out. But the question is, will the pressure be enough for the president to step aside?

Here’s what I’m looking for, Craig: What happens to polling in the coming days and weeks? Do donors start to abandon the president and do more lawmakers start to air their concerns publicly? If a top Democrat, for example, starts to come out and call for the president to drop out of the race. That’s a game changer. That’s when the floodgates really open. Now, look at least one poll shows a slight increase in voters’ concerns about the president’s mental and cognitive health to serve as president and that CNN poll that Gabe mentioned also really fascinating showing Vice President Harris doing better against Trump compared to Biden.

So, if more polls show a similar trend for the president, donors and elected officials’ concerns could continue to snowball. And here’s the rub, Craig, that could potentially threaten Democrats in down ballot races in addition to the presidency and that’s when I think you’d see the pressure really mound.

MELVIN: Kristen really quickly here, Gabe just mentioned some phone calls that the president plans to make to party leaders this news conference that he’s planning for next week. Maybe even sitting down for an interview as well. Beyond that, Kristen, what else can the White House do? What else should the White House be doing to try and, and, and ease some of these concerns?

WELKER: They’ve got to be out front on all of this and it’s just hard to overstate the level of the crisis that they’re dealing with given the pressure from their own party. Look, I’ve been talking to officials at the White House overnight within the campaign. They are defiant Craig. They say they are prepared to keep fighting. They tout the fact that they raised $38 million since that debate and you’ll see today that all staff meeting at the White House, the president himself will be addressing governors, addressing their concerns all across the country.

The campaign plans to make him more visible as you said, and then look for this, Craig — look for them to really start to focus on that immunity decision in the Supreme Court, which essentially expanded presidential powers, to make their case, to make the president’s case that former President Trump would be more dangerous in a second term, that he’s been emboldened by this decision.

Will the strategy be enough? Polls show that the top issue for voters still the economy, still the border, not the issue of democracy, although it’s still is an important one. So, this is just a pivotal moment that we are watching Craig.

MELVIN: Indeed, moderator of Meet the Press, Kristen Welker. Kristen, thank you.

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