'We could lose the whole thing': Michael Bennet frets over Biden's prospects

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said Tuesday night he believes former President Donald Trump is on track to beat President Joe Biden this November — and that Trump could win in a “landslide” that ushers in Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

“I’m sure President Biden has a different view of his prospects in this election than I do. But we should be having a discussion about that,” Bennet told CNN. And the White House in the time since that disastrous debate I think has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election.

The senator stopped short of outright calling on Biden to step aside as the party’s nominee — leaving the door open to a Biden comeback.

In the CNN interview, Bennet acknowledged giving a similar analysis in the Senate Democratic lunch earlier in the day. The Colorado lawmaker is rarely one to cause a ruckus in the caucus — but has been among those voicing grave concerns over Biden’s performance at last month’s debate.

“This race is on a trajectory that is very worrisome if you care about the future of this country,” Bennet, who like Biden sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, said. He later added, “We could lose the whole thing, and it’s staggering to me.”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) also told Democratic senators at Tuesday’s lunch that he believes the president is in a troubling situation and needs to do more to prove his viability as a candidate, according to a senior Democratic aide who was granted anonymity to discuss the private conversation. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) reportedly did the same — though he repeatedly declined to answer questions from reporters, citing his policy of not talking about what happens in caucus meetings.

Tester and Brown — who are seeking reelection in states Trump carried by significant margins in 2020 — are the party’s two most vulnerable incumbents this fall.

As of Tuesday, there was no clear strategy among Senate Democrats on how to address the president’s viability as the party’s presidential nominee. While many senior Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have said they’re standing by Biden, others have insisted the president needs to prove he is up for the job.

“They have to address the American’s people’s concerns,” Bennet said. “People that I represent from Colorado have deep concerns about whether or not the president can win this race.”

Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz issued a statement in response to Bennet’s interview. “This was always going to be a close race — and the dynamics at play are the ones we’ve long anticipated: Voters continue to be deeply concerned by Donald Trump and his harmful agenda, and the more we engage and reach out to voters, the more they support President Biden,” Munoz said.

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