N.Y. Democrats rally around President Biden after debate missteps

ALBANY — New York Democrats rallied around President Joe Biden on Friday, following a debate performance that prompted many of those in the party to openly question whether someone else should run against former President Donald J. Trump. “President Biden has delivered for the American people and I unequivocally support him and his vision for our country,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “I’ll work tirelessly to ensure New Yorkers and voters across the country deliver for the president in November.”

Biden at times appeared to struggle to enunciate and finish his thoughts during Thursday night’s 90-minute debate on CNN. Trump was criticized by Biden and Democrats for his recent felony conviction, other pending litigation against him, and his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021 protests at the U.S. Capitol. Trump said he would accept the results of the presidential election “if it’s a fair and legal and good election.”

But the fallout of Biden’s noticeable struggles throughout the evening, which became the focus of the post-debate coverage and analyses, became an immediate flash point in a race that will be decided in five months. Even left-leaning news outlets raised concerns about Biden’s performance and his ability to finish the race, as well as serve in the White House for another four years.

Still, Democrats running in swing congressional districts in the Hudson Valley expressed their support for Biden.

“Last night, the American people heard Donald Trump and Alison Esposito’s vision for American, and it’s downright dangerous,” said U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan, referencing his Republican opponent in the 18th Congressional District. “What we need are more patriots who will rise above the partisanship to deliver for Hudson Valley families.”

Esposito, who was then-U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin’s running made for governor two years ago, said on social media that “President Trump proved what we all knew, he will be the next president.” She later looked to tie Ryan to the ongoing migrant crisis, describing it as the “Biden-Ryan border crisis.”

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