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Biden team works furiously to quell any Democratic revolt after debate

Publicly, President Biden's allies have spent the past several days aggressively downplaying his missteps in Thursday's debate by assailing the "bedwetting brigade" of anxious Democrats, trumpeting a record influx of campaign donations and noting the long list of incumbents who stumbled during their first debates.

Privately, they have worked the phones to reassure nervous donors, pleaded with concerned lawmakers to keep their powder dry and huddled with colleagues to commiserate - while steeling themselves for a battle that could determine not only whether Biden wins the election in November, but whether he will be on the ballot at all.

The push to save Biden's candidacy, which continued Sunday at a Camp David retreat with the president's family encouraging him to stay in the race, appears to have at least temporarily stemmed the flood of public doubt and bought him some time. Still, the effort by the president's aides, supporters and family members to contain the damage after he struggled to make a coherent case against Republican rival Donald Trump during the debate has been tumultuous and frenzied. It has also become a case study of a campaign thrust into crisis.


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