Angry Biden: 'Go ahead. Challenge me at the convention'

As angry Democrats pile onto President Biden, he has a message: He’s angry too.

“I’m getting so frustrated by the elites … the elites in the party who — they know so much more,” Biden said sarcastically, calling in to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” his favorite cable news show. “Any of these guys don’t think I should, run against me: Go ahead. Challenge me at the convention.”

Pressure has been mounting on Biden to drop out of the race since last month’s poor debate performance. The televised call was part of a larger effort to push back against the internal pressure by rallying his party’s base and channeling national anger with elites that cuts across both parties. Though public opinion surveys show large majorities pf Americans want Biden out of the race, he has cast the movement to persuade him to step aside as top down and anti-democratic.

“The voters of the Democratic Party have voted. They have chosen me to be the nominee of the party,” he wrote in a letter to congressional Democrats Monday, laying out his case for staying in the race. “Do we now just say this process didn’t matter? That the voters don’t have a say?”

Read more: With Biden faltering, can Trump finally win Orange County?

Biden calling in to morning cable news to rail at his party’s establishment was reminiscent of former President Trump’s favorite method of communication. For years, even before he ran for election, he has been calling into “Fox & Friends” to speak his mind to friendly hosts.

Trump has held only one public event in the 11 days since then, allowing Democrats to publicly debate Biden’s future and keep the focus on Biden’s frailty, rather than Trump’s convictions or policy proposals. Congress is back in session this week and more Democratic lawmakers are expected to weigh in, which could put further pressure on Biden to drop out.

“It drives me nuts people are talking about this,” Biden said, asking “where the hell has Trump been?”

But he would not answer whether he has been tested for Parkinson’s or other age-related illnesses.

“I had a bad night,” he said with a purposeful chuckle. “That’s why I’ve been out. I’ve been testing myself.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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