Biden prepares for private huddle with Dem governors as candidacy under threat

President Biden will meet with Democratic governors later Wednesday as concerns over his health and mental well-being reach a critical point.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who heads the Democratic Governors Association, is already in Washington, D.C., and will be at the White House in-person. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker are also confirmed to be in Washington.

“I think the governors just want a direct and candid conversation with the president. We want to make sure he’s doing okay. We all know him. He has formed a personal relationship with us,” Beshear told Fox News Digital. “And he says he is [doing okay]. And we take him at his word. But it’s always good to see somebody in person.”

Pritzker echoed the wellness check language of Beshear, arguing that he would support any decision Biden makes regarding his campaign.

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“I honor my commitments. Joe Biden is going to be our nominee, unless he decides otherwise. And so I think that there’s a healthy conversation that will happen with the president, I hope, expressing, you know, what he intends to do going forward in the campaign and reassuring everybody that this is the right course,” Prtizker said.

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The meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, comes less than a day after the first elected Democratic lawmaker called for Biden to withdraw from the race. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, cited Biden’s disastrous performance in last week’s debate against former President Trump.

The White House has attempted to dismiss Biden’s gaffes, miscues and mental acuity concerns as little more than the product of “cheap fakes” and misinformation, but one of Biden’s current political rivals – who previously served alongside him – says unequivocally that the Biden seen during a disastrous national debate is “not the same man” he once knew.

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Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, served as physician to the president during both the Obama and Trump administrations and previously worked in the White House Medical Unit during the George W. Bush administration. It was during his time spent serving under former President Obama that he was able to most closely observe Biden, then the vice president.

“I was in the White House when Joe Biden was VP, and the man we’ve seen since announcing his candidacy is not the same man who was VP for 8 years,” Jackson said. 

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Last week’s debate had a cascading effect within the media and some members of the Democratic Party, too, as even traditional left-wing allies slammed the president’s performance as disastrous – with some calling on the president to step aside before the election. 

As legacy media outlets such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune call on Biden to map out an exit plan – with the Times describing Biden as a “shadow of a great public servant” – Biden allies such as Obama and first lady Jill Biden have reiterated their full-throated support for the 46th president’s re-election.

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.